Stoudemire staying with Suns

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Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire smiles as he runs back on defense after hitting a basket against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) By David Zalubowski Phoenix Suns forward Amare Stoudemire smiles as he runs back on defense after hitting a basket against the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Denver on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) By David Zalubowski

PHOENIX (AP) -- After weeks of trade discussions, the Suns decided the one player they could not do without was Amare Stoudemire.

It is a gamble. All-Star starter Stoudemire can opt out of the final year of his contract worth $17.7 million next season, and the Suns will have nothing but a little extra money to spend next summer.

Still, general manager Steve Kerr said he considered standing pat at Thursday's NBA trade deadline was the best option for a Suns team that has a three-game lead on a Western Conference playoff spot with 27 games remaining.