Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract has been bought out by the New York Knicks according to league sources. ESPN is reporting that Stoudemire and the Knicks reached an agreement on a buyout on Sunday ending Amar’e’s tenure with the team.
Stoudemire was in the last year of a five-year contract valued at approximately $100 million. However, the last two injury filled seasons limited Stoudemire’s availability and effectiveness in what has become an extremely disappointing season for the last place Knicks who are now firmly focused on rebuilding.
Amar’e stated that he would make a decision about his future with the Knicks over the All-Star break as to whether or not he would ask for a buyout in the hopes of joining with a playoff contender. “It’s not an easy decision to make,” Stoudemire told Yahoo Sports prior to the break.
As reported by USA Today, Carmelo Anthony praised Amar’e as the reason he agreed to come to New York. Anthony also expressed his support saying, “You only want the best for your friends.”
With Stoudemire’s contract bought out, the Knicks have added significant cap flexibility to pursue potential top draft picks like Duke’s Jahlil Okafor who is considered the likely number one pick, Kentucky’s Karl Towns, or even point guard Emmanuel Mudiay who was recruited by SMU before the NCAA declared him ineligible. Mudiay is currently playing in China.
Multiple questions concerning this abound, including whether or not Okafor and Towns declare for the draft (which they are expected to do), whether or not Phil Jackson has the patience to develop such young prospects, or if another team is willing to make the Knicks an offer they can’t refuse.
Since the contract buyout is final, Stoudemire will be placed on waivers today and will be available to other teams on Wednesday. Stoudemire has expressed an interest in joining the Dallas Mavericks where he would likely be the backup for Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, adding, needed depth.
Other teams that have expressed interest in Stoudemire include the Phoenix Suns where Stoudemire had multiple All-Star seasons before signing with the Knicks. However, with Blake Griffin out for an extended period of time due to injury, the Los Angeles Clippers could be a potential landing spot for Amar’e.
The Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers — all playoff contenders in need of additional depth at the power forward position — are not actively pursuing Stoudemire. With the NBA’s fast approaching trade deadline of 3 p.m. on Thursday, the expectation is that Stoudemire’s next team will probably be known by the end of the week.
Now that Amar’e Stoudemire’s contract was bought out, what team do you think he will sign with for the rest of the season?
[Photo by: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images]