12:33pm: The Knicks have waived Stoudemire, the team announced via press release, making the buyout deal official. It’s still unknown just how much Stoudemire gave back.
“Amar’e’s period as a Knickerbocker has come to pass, at his request. His time here should be marked by recognizing his effort – it was 100%,” Knicks team president Phil Jackson said in the statement. “As we move forward in structuring this team, we will look for players that exhibit his desire to win.”
The Knicks are left with 14 players on their roster. GM Steve Mills said in the team’s release that he and Stoudemire had developed a “long-term friendship” that would remain in place as they parted ways, and Stoudemire, in his quote as part of the statement, expressed gratitude to the organization, saying, “Once a Knick, always a Knick.”
MONDAY, 7:35am: The Blazers aren’t in the mix, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com hears (Twitter link).
SUNDAY, 11:15pm: The Clippers, Blazers, Suns, and Raptors are expected to pursue Stoudemire, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).
11:04pm: Stein (link) adds the Cavs to the list of teams that are not actively pursuing the veteran.
10:40pm: The Clippers and Mavericks have strong interest in Stoudemire but the Spurs are a dark horse “with [a] level of intrigue,” according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).
10:12pm: The Knicks and Amar’e Stoudemire reached a buyout agreement on Sunday night, according to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). The big man’s camp has been discussing a buyout with the club for quite some time.
Stoudemire, 32, is in the final year of a massive five-year contract worth nearly $99.744MM that pays him almost $23.411MM this season. The veteran has averaged 12.0 PPG and 6.8 RPG in 36 games (14 starts) for the blue and orange this season. Stoudemire has a rather respectable 19.7 PER on the year and his 6.8 boards per game is a good improvement over his averages from the previous two campaigns.
Even though he has not found individual success with the Knicks, STAT was said to be conflicted about the idea of a buyout. Still, Stoudemire’s reps were pushing for a deal and the Knicks had no intention of re-signing him this summer as they look to push their resources towards younger talent.
“All possibilities at this point are still open,” Stoudemire said of his own buyout possibility. “The door is still open for that. But at the same time, I am with the Knicks now. I got to stay optimistic about things and what we are doing here. I can’t really focus on the future because it’s not here. We still have a couple weeks left before it’s all said and done. It’s a decision I have to make with my family to figure out the best scenario for the near future.”
The Mavs are reportedly the favorites to sign Stoudemire should he buy his way off the Knicks and clear waivers. Of course, with a $23MM+ salary, Stoudemire would be a mortal lock to pass through waivers unclaimed. Besides Dallas, the Clippers and Warriors are said to be interested as well. Marc Berman of the New York Post recently wrote that it’s “quite possible” that Stoudemire would return to the Suns this summer and speculated that the Magic would have interest in the central Florida native this summer, though it’s not clear what the interest level would be from either team if Stoudemire were to reach free agency mid-season.