TUESDAY, 2:25pm: The Warriors “would definitely have some interest” in Stoudemire if he buys his way out of his Knicks deal, writes Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group.
FRIDAY, 11:29pm: If Amar’e Stoudemire opts to pursue a buyout arrangement with the Knicks, the Mavericks would be considered the front-runners to sign the oft-injured big man, Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN.com report. Stoudemire has said that he’s unsure if he would indeed seek a buyout from New York, and he will use the upcoming All-Star break to make his decision.
“All possibilities at this point are still open,” Stoudemire said regarding the possibility of a buyout. “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 Mavericks are still interested in inking Jermaine O’Neal, and are prepared to clear the necessary roster space to sign both players, the ESPN scribes add. Dallas’ roster count is currently at 14 players, which means that the team would need to release a player or make an unbalanced trade in order to add both men to the team. The Mavs have been shorthanded in the frontcourt since dealing away Brandan Wright in the trade that netted them Rajon Rondo from the Celtics, which makes both O’Neal and Stoudemire extremely valuable pieces to Dallas.
The ESPN duo also report that Dallas will still be seeking to add a big man on a 10-day deal while O’Neal continues to try and work his way back into NBA shape. It should be noted that while the Mavs are reportedly the frontrunners to ink O’Neal, the player hasn’t publicly announced which team he intends to join, and has only hinted at making a return to the NBA.
Stoudemire, who is in the final season of a five-year, $99.7 million contract with the Knicks, is averaging 12.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.0 block in 24.9 minutes per contest. The 32-year-old is currently nursing an ankle injury, but he has played well this season for a floundering Knicks team.
The Knicks reportedly engaged in internal discussions about a buyout for Stoudemire earlier this season, and team president Phil Jackson spoke with the Sixers this summer about a trade, but no deal was struck. With Stoudemire earning $23,410,988 this season, finding a trade partner prior to the February 19th deadline will likely be an impossible task, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports opined. The final day that Stoudemire could be waived and still be eligible to appear in the postseason for another team is March 1st.