The inevitable has finally happened. The 5-year marriage between Amare Stoudemire and the New York Knicks has finally come to an end. Amare and the Knicks agreed to a buyout, which will make him a free agent Wednesday morning.
Amare has struggled tremendously over the last couple of years due to knee problems. He averaged 12 points and 7 boards in 36 games this season, coming off bench. From 2012-2014, Amare missed 70 regular season games, and has never played a full 82 game season with the Knicks since signing in 2010. In 4 seasons with the Knicks, Amare averaged 17 points and 7 boards in 255 games.
The Knicks signed Amare to a 5-year $100 million dollar deal back in 2010. There were a few mixed feelings about the deal, only because Amare was showing signs of slowing down, but most thought this would help the Knicks get back into the playoffs.
STAT was an All-Star that season, averaging 25 points and 8 boards and once Melo was bought in to the picture, being traded in late February, the sky was the limit for the Knicks, except Amare's knees didn't think so.
It's unfortunate that Amare couldn't get healthy when Melo arrived because he know what could have happened. During their time together, the Knicks seen the playoff three times and won the Atlantic Division in 2012-13. At times though, it seemed like that the two friends and All-Star couldn't make their talents work together for a title, only reaching the 2nd round. Melo had this to say about his friend after Sunday's All-Star game,
I think this is a good move for all parties. Amare gets an opportunity to choose his next location and the Knicks free up another roster spot and a couple million dollars. Rumors are swirling that the Mavs, Suns, and Clippers are atop of Amare's list but no one really knows. I actually think the Mavs or Clippers would be a good spot for STAT, mainly because of the experienced coaches they have, Carlslie for the Mavs and Rivers for the Clippers.
No matter where he decides to go, STAT will have to take a major paycut from the $23 million he was receiving from the Knicks. Amare will likely be the 7-8th man off the bench to compliment someone's starting big man. A good coach will figure out how to get the most out of Amare, who I think can still score. He has shown that he can hit a mid-range from the hi-post, and even score in the paint. The only thing that is missing is the dominance we were used to seeing in Phoenix.
As for the Knicks, I'm impressed with what Phil Jackson is doing. He is clearing up cap space and roster spots all in one season. This is the prime example of blowing a team up in one season. I see this being a 3-4 year process before the Knicks are championship contenders again.