Amare Stoudemire now appears to be a long shot to return to Phoenix after he opted out of the last year of his contract and negotiations on a new deal with Suns owner Robert Sarver broke off late Tuesday night, a source said.
All three would have to sign similar five-year deals starting at roughly $15 million, less than they could make on sign-and-trade deals.
Riley presented his power-of-three presentation to Stoudemire, in which he outlined how every championship team is built on a three-man nucleus.
Riley, the source said, is trying to convince the players that the absence of a state tax in Florida would make up the salary difference.
The Knicks spoke to Stoudemire shortly after 9:01 p.m. PT and saw him briefly at a hotel in Los Anageles, but had to rush to make their plane to Cleveland to speak with LeBron James. They have set up a more in-depth meeting with Stoudemire in New York this weekend.
Ric Bucher covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine. ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard contributed to this report.