Amar’e Stoudemire’s name has become synonymous with disappointment. A sheer uttering of his name, in fact, is enough to send most New York Knicks fas into a comatose state. And you know what? We can’t blame them.
Stoudemire was everything and more than the Knicks imagined he’d be during the early goings of the 2010-11 campaign. He was leading an offensive charge without the likes of Steve Nash by his side and rejuvenated what had become a dying franchise.
Since then, however, in has come Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and a slew of other players, and Stoudemire has taken a backseat. Not because he lacks talent, but because his knees aren’t what you would call structurally sound.
Which is why he finds himself currently on the shelf, and out of favor in New York. So much so, in fact, that Chad Ford of ESPN.com reports that he is still readily available to any NBA team that wants to take him on:
The Knicks feel like getting back Amare and Shumpert are their mid-season deals. With that said, Amare has been and will be available for a deal if a team is willing to swallow his non-insured contract. Keep reading the Lakers have interest. That would really shock me.
Far be it from me to criticize the Knicks for wanting to shed the $60-plus million remaining on Stoudemire’s contract. He’s hardly lived up to its standard and rarely been present when it mattered most—a la against the Miami Heat this past postseason.
Yet, is attempting to trade him really the answer?
Let’s assume, for a minute, that there is a team willing to take on Stoudemire’s borderline poisonous contract. What then?
Are the Knicks likely to find a suitor that wants to take back such a deal while sending a flurry of expiring ones their way? Probably not. Are they even likely to get a player in return who can enhance their immediate cause? For all you Pau Gasol hopefuls out there, the answer is still no.
Which means the Knicks shouldn’t even make Stoudemire available. He’s near immovable to begin with, so his availability only creates unnecessary friction, and even if they find a taker, the deal isn’t likely to be a promising one.
We tend to forget that Stoudemire can still help this team. Whether that be off bench or in the starting lineup doesn’t matter, he can still help New York win. This is a guy whose posted 21.6 points and 8.8 rebounds for his career. This is also a guy who had the worst season of his career last year, and still managed to score 17.5 points and grab 7.8 rebounds per game.
And yes, this is a guy who can help the Knicks avoid disappointing losses like the ones they suffered against the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets.
So of course trading Stoudemire isn’t the answer. With the Knicks’ title window floundering as it is, and no team that is willing to both take on his contract and match his value, New York’s best option is to keep him. The Knicks need to help him get back on the court and see what he can do, see how far this team can go at full-strength.
No one’s saying Stoudemire is going to return to his All-Star form, because he probably won’t. And sure, his contract is about as appetizing as eating out of a local dumpster.
But right now, for the Knicks, he’s the best option they have. He’s their best hope at injecting an added punch into the lineup.
And until they’ve exhausted that option or it’s been proven ineffective—like really ineffective—there’s no use getting caught up in the trade rumor mill.
Because Stoudemire isn’t going anywhere.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.