The 2012-2013 NBA season was not a good one for Amare Stoudemire, who had his knee problems come back to haunt him as he missed more than 50 games of the regular season, came off the bench in the rest of them and wasn’t healthy in off in the playoffs to give more than 8.3 minutes a night.
A six time All-Star and someone who was regarded as the “savior” of the New York Knicks before the trade that brought over Carmelo Anthony came to pass, Stoudemire, if he’ll be healthy enough next season, doesn’t expect to be a bench player once again, seeing Carmelo Anthony “eating up” his minutes at the power forward position. His salary for the next two years, $45.1 million, also suggests he should be spending quite a lot of time on the court.
But Mike Woodson hasn’t turned to that option all season. For him, his lineup is at its best when Carmelo Anthony plays the ‘4’, Tyson Chandler is the one and only big man on the court at center, while he has the option to play three guards in the other three positions. As he stated in a press conference last week after getting knocked out by the Indiana Pacers, he isn’t going to commit to starting Stoudemire next season, especially not in May.
Stoudemire averaged only 3.8 points in the postseason, but did look quite effective, at least on the offensive end, when he made his initial return from injury during the regular season before succumbing to his troublesome knees once more. He played only 23.5 minutes a night, by far the fewest in his career except for the lost season with Phoenix (2005-2006), but still averaged 14.2 points and 5 rebounds per game. As a sixth man, it seemed to be working, to an certain extent.
The Knicks cant’ trade Stoudemire. His contract makes it impossible for anyone to take him on, unless they’re half insane. When it’ll be closer to its expiring date, that might become a possibility for anyone looking to clear some cap space. Stoudemire also has an early termination option at the end of the 2013-2014 season, but no one imagines he’ll be giving up over $23 million just to find himself some more playing time.
No one says the Knicks have given up on Stoudemire still being a star on the team, but it’s clear that he’s playing second-string to Carmelo Anthony’s presence, which might not be the best thing for the Knicks. These playoffs have proved that focusing solely on Anthony is simply the wrong way to be carrying on with your basketball business. Stoudemire offers something no one on the Knicks, and few around the league, can offer in terms of inside scoring. It’ll be a waste to use him as a role player instead of making the most of his offensive capabilities, and recipe for another disappointing ending to a season.