Just what New York Knicks fans wanted for the holiday season… Per the NY Post, forgotten $100-million man Amare Stoudemire (or forsaken, depending on which fan you ask) reportedly is targeting sometime around Christmas to make his return to the court from early November knee surgery.
And who do the Knicks play Christmas day? The Los Angeles Lakers and former Stoudemire coach Mike D’Antoni, a team that Stoudemire has been loosely linked to in trade rumors. Coincidence? Probably not, given the running drama series the NBA has become in recent years. But, that’s why we love it so much.
Stoudemire’s return at any time won’t be met without some questions, of course. That would be too easy. The Knicks started the season on fire, winning eight of their first nine games with Carmelo Anthony playing a hybrid power forward position and Rasheed Wallace regaining his old form, prompting questions whether Stoudemire is still needed on the veteran roster.
Stoudemire has even reportedly said he is willing to come off the bench if it benefits the team. In theory, Stoudemire as a reserve may work and keep the chemistry that the starters have had early on going, but it would be difficult for Knicks management to justify paying Stoudemire $20 million to be a sixth man.
If the bench ends up being the Knicks best option for the Stoudemire, then they will need to seriously consider moving the 30-year old power forward as soon as possible. The biggest obstacle would be finding a taker for the remaining three years and $65 million of Stoudemire’s contract. There aren’t many teams in the NBA that would be willing to absorb that type of deal for an aging player coming off of multiple injuries.
All things considered, Stoudemire may not be the athletic monster he was in his glory days with the Phoenix Suns but he can still provide 18-20 points a night in the right situation. That situation just may no longer be with the Knicks.