Amare Stoudemire is set to return to action for the Knicks, but Howard Beck of the New York Times writes that the big man could have easily been shipped elsewhere prior to the start of this season. The player once viewed as one of the team’s cornerstones was offered up to nearly every team in the league and was “available for free”, according to one rival executive.
In February, the Knicks wanted to send Stoudemire to Toronto in a deal for Andrea Bargnani, according to a person briefed on the discussion. However, that proposal was vetoed by Garden chairman James Dolan before it ever reached the Raptors. Unsurprisingly, Toronto officials told Beck that the club wouldn’t have made that deal anyway. Before that, the Knicks tried to package Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler in a trade with the Magic for Dwight Howard.
The Knicks couldn’t find a taker for Stoudemire because of his diminished production, health concerns, and massive contract, which pays him $65MM through 2014/15. The deal is uninsured against a career-ending knee injury, despite the big man’s injury history.