Is Amar’e Stoudemire a necessity for the New York Knicks?

Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Knicks are off to their best start since the 1999-2000 season. They are now 3-0 after beating the Philadelphia 76ers twice in just as many days.

Defense is at a premium for the team after they had a roster cleanup over the summer months. Allowing just 84 points in two out of the first three games. They even beat the NBA champions in their season opener just a few days ago by an astonishing 20 points. But, there’s a catch.

The Knicks have been without five-time All Star Amar’e Stoudemire, and will continue to be for several weeks. Stoudemire had surgery on his left knee to remove damaged tissue out of the knee. Stoudemire struggled in the 2011-2012 season once Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler arrived to the Big Apple.

With the team having such a good start to the season, would it be right to break up the chemistry they have already built just to incorporate Amar’e Stoudemire into the lineup?

Well, Stoudemire’s contract is worth $19,948,799 for the season, which is just less than $500,000 more than Anthony who could make the All-NBA first team this year if he continues to play at the level he is. Stoudemire’s performance as a member of the Knicks has been less than stellar which is a surprise after the year’s playing at the highest of levels with the Phoenix Suns.

So what should the Knicks do with this multi-million dollar player? Well, the answer isn’t so simple. Stoudemire has a contract signed until the end of next season and has a team option for 2014. The team owes him $41,628,692 over the next two years which is an outstanding price for someone that won’t be playing the full season this year and is susceptible to injury.

It’s time for them to get rid of Stoudemire. Releasing him isn’t really an option because they would receive too much criticism for releasing an All-Star caliber player such as himself. But, they can most certainly trade him. Pending on how he works with Anthony, Chandler, Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton, he may just stay in New York, even though his numbers won’t be as good and he won’t be the team leader he thought he would be.

There are a few teams that could possibly trade for Stoudemire such as the Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic and possibly a few other teams.

Stoudemire’s future with the team remains questionable, but it’s apparent that it isn’t necessary for the Knicks to keep such an expensive player that hasn’t produced so much.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.

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