WEDNESDAY, 4:23pm: The Mavs have officially signed Stoudemire, the team announced in a press release. “I’m excited to be a part of a first-class organization,” Stoudemire said. “To play alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and other great players, I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for me to compete for a championship.”
MONDAY, 8:37pm: Amar’e Stoudemire has committed to signing with the Mavericks once he clears waivers on Wednesday, league sources tell Shams Charania of RealGM (Twitter link). The reported agreement doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since Dallas was rumored to be the front-runner to ink the 32-year-old big man once he became a free agent, as Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN.com passed along earlier this month. The Knicks cut ties with Stoudemire in a buyout deal this morning.
There was no shortage of suitors for the seven-time All-Star, as in addition to the Mavs, reports linked him to the Blazers, Grizzlies, Spurs, Clippers, Raptors and Warriors. Still, the relationship between Dallas’ coaching staff and front office with Stoudemire’s agents at Relativity Sports looks to have played a key role in his choice to sign with the 36-19 Mavericks. Nothing can become official until S.T.A.T. clears waivers, but there isn’t a team in the league with enough cap space to put a claim in on his massive contract.
The transition from the league-worst Knicks to the playoff bound Mavericks will be a stark one, but it will give Stoudemire a legitimate shot at competing deep into the playoffs rather than putting in work for a lottery-bound New York club. After agreeing to a deal with the Knicks worth nearly $100MM in 2010, New York failed to get past the Eastern Conference Semifinals during Stoudemire’s tenure in the blue and orange. Much of his time with the squad was spent on the bench, as various injuries limited the forward/center from taking the court in four of his nearly five seasons with the team.
Dallas hopes to formally bring aboard Stoudemire on Thursday, according to Stein, who confirms Charania’s report that the 13th-year vet will indeed join the Mavs (Twitter link). Dallas is limited to paying players the minimum salary, so that’s what the agreement will need to be worth once it’s finalized. In 24.0 minutes per game this season, Stoudemire is averaging 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds. His 19.7 PER this season is below his career mark of 22.0, but comfortably above the league average of 15.0. He’ll fill the role of backup big man for the Mavs, who have been lacking frontcourt depth since Brandan Wright was sent away in the Rajon Rondo trade.