As expected, Amar’e Stoudemire has declined his early termination option for the 2014/15 season, a league source tells Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. Stoudemire will play out the final year of his five-year, $100MM contract with the Knicks. Stoudemire, the highest paid player on New York’s roster, will make $23.4MM, much more than he would have fetched on the open market had he opted to become a free agent.
After a standout first season with the Knicks in which the former All-Star averaged over 25 points and eight rebounds a game, injuries have curtailed his playing time and effectiveness every year since. He just turned in his least productive season since missing nearly all of the 2005/06 campaign, putting up just 11.9 points in 22.6 minutes a contest. Stoudemire did play better down the stretch, averaging over 16 points a game as the Knicks made an unsuccessful playoff push over the last 23 games of the season.
Had the Relativity Sports client exercised his early termination clause, it would have given the Knicks some much needed cap relief sooner than expected. Stoudemire’s contract combines with those of Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler, and J.R. Smith in preventing New York from making any significant roster improvements as they try to convince Carmelo Anthony to stay in town. Stoudemire has been anxious to see his role increased since getting clearance from his doctors earlier this season, and he might get his wish next year, especially if Anthony bolts to join a contender.