The Dallas Mavericks are worried about the quality of their bench, so they’re quite intrigued at the possibility of Amar’e Stoudemire becoming a free agent, as the player is discussing a potential buyout with the New York Knicks that will be beneficial for both sides.
Stoudemire is on the final season of his five-year, $99 million deal, making $23.4 million. He has played in 33 games this season, dealing with injuries to his ankle, knees and wrist among other places, missing 14 of the last 18 games. He’s averaging 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds per game; is per-minute numbers are still solid. He’s still a trusted contributor, but his body is breaking down when heavily used, and the Knicks have no need for an expensive veteran ruining their tanking plans.
Stoudemire, like most veteran players who have some value and use, would like to play for a contender. As the Knicks have no plans to re-sign him this summer and are going in a different direction, it’s not surprising to hear about the buyout talks and plans between the two sides, with Stoudemire suggesting he’ll take the All-Star break to think and mull things over, making a final decisions soon enough.
The Mavericks, at 34-18, need some help. They have won four of their last five games but all those wins came against sub .500 teams. They came after four consecutive losses, all to playoff teams: Bulls, Pelicans (borderline), Grizzlies and Rockets. The Rajon Rondo trade might have brought more star power and experience to the team, but it gutted their depth chart and left Rick Carlisle with a very empty and unimpressive bench.
While defense might be something the Mavericks need more of, Stoudemire, even in his current shape and form can help them. He can play as the backup to both Chandler and Nowitzki while bringing immediate offense. Playing alongside Rajon Rondo might be very good for the both of them because of his style, although Stoudemire is no longer capable of moving towards the rim in speed and power like in better, healthier days.
The Mavericks are aggressive this season – from the additions of Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler to the trade for Rajon Rondo. They want to contend for a championship, but know they need more than what they have right now. It makes sense for Stoudemire and the Knicks to part ways now, but it’ll be a matter of finding the right number, not to mention Stoudemire probably generating interest from more teams than just the Mavs.