NEW YORK—The Amar’e Stoudemire era in New York is officially over. In recent weeks, reports have surfaced that the former All-Star power forward was pushing for a buyout with the Knicks, and Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that he has gotten his wish:
A league source told the Daily News that Stoudemire and the Knicks formally reached a buyout prior to Sunday’s All Star Game and that the six-time All Star, who should clear waivers by Wednesday, could be in a new uniform by the time the league resume on Thursday.
Several teams in the Western Conference are expected to pursue Stoudemire, who would be a solid addition to a playoff team as a reserve. The Dallas Mavericks have already been mentioned as a possible destination. Two others clubs in the West that could be in the running are San Antonio and Golden State.
Stoudemire’s tenure in New York was rocky. He was their big prize in free agency in 2010 after they missed out on the LeBron James sweepstakes, and for the first half of the 2010-11 season, he was a legitimate MVP candidate. But repeated knee injuries and an awkward fit with Carmelo Anthony made the signing a disappointment overall, given the championship expectations the Knicks had at the time.
“He brought that excitement back to New York,” Anthony said after Sunday night’s All-Star Game at Madison Square Garden. “It’s hard to believe [the buyout] happened. A big reason why I came here was because of him.”
Even with his injuries, Stoudemire has proven that he can be a useful offensive big man in limited minutes, and there’s no reason a contender looking for help shouldn’t be interested in him. The Warriors and Mavericks have made their interest known in the past, and the Mavs certainly need big bodies. The Spurs are a bizarre fit, but wouldn’t Amar’e Stoudemire swinging a couple of playoff games be the most Spurs thing imaginable?
The Clippers are another team that makes sense for Stoudemire. Even in his limited current capabilities, he’s a significant upgrade over Glen Davis and Hedo Turkoglu and could provide energy for them off the bench.
In the coming days, the contenders will make their cases to lure him. It will be interesting to see which one he picks.