The Dallas Mavericks are rumored to be going after forward Amar'e Stoudemire if he decides to take a contract buyout with the New York Knicks.
Sources say that while Stoudemire could leave the Knicks to join a title contender for the stretch run, the team reportedly has not yet approached Stoudemire about buying out his contract.
Additionally, Stoudemire has yet to make a decision if he would leave New York, saying that he has made a home there and that it would be difficult to leave. Stoudemire is in the final season of a five-year, $99.7 million contract with the Knicks.
"It's not an easy decision to make," Stoudemire told Yahoo! Sports. "Over time, we will see how things pan out. You give yourself a break during the All-Star break. You think about it with your family.... That will give me a good solid week on how to weigh out the rest of the season."
Amar'e Stoudemire has reportedly been talking to close friends about possibly taking a buyout, but it's clearly a difficult decision for him.
"My heart always lies with the Knicks. My loyalty is with [Knicks owner] Mr. [Jim] Dolan," Stoudemire told Yahoo! Sports. "I feel like New York is my home now. I feel like I'm a New Yorker for sure. I have a farm here. I have family and friends here. New York will always be my home whether I am here playing for the Knicks or not."
Stoudemire has struggled with health issues and has taken to unusual methods to stay healthy. Earlier this season, he revealed that he's been using red wine baths to rehab his surgically repaired knee.
"The red wine bath is very important to me because it allows me to create more circulation in my red blood cells," Stoudemire told ESPN after completing a three-hour practice with the Knicks last year. "Plus, it's very hot, so it's like a hot tub. But it's also the red wine… just kind of soothes the body."
Rumors indicate that the Dallas Mavericks would be a front-runner to land Amar'e Stoudemire if he does opt out. The Mavericks are also reportedly looking at big-man Jermaine O'Neal but would also look for a center to sign to a 10-day contract while O'Neal gets NBA-ready again with private workouts.