FRIDAY, 4:27pm: Stoudemire’s representatives are still discussing a buyout with the team, but the player still hasn’t made a definitive decision about his future yet, Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets.
11:13pm: Stoudemire’s representatives are pushing for a buyout, and the Knicks seem inclined to grant it, Howard Beck of Bleacher Report notes. New York has no interest in re-signing Stoudemire this summer, and the team prefers to use its salary-cap room to chase a younger star, Beck adds.
WEDNESDAY, 11:36am: No “real” discussions have taken place between Amar’e Stoudemire and the Knicks about a buyout, agent Happy Walters tells Marc Berman of the New York Post, adding that his client is loyal to the Knicks and won’t make a move unless Knicks owner James Dolan is on board with it. Dolan doesn’t oppose the idea, sources tell Berman, and in one buyout scenario, Stoudemire would relinquish the amount of money he would make on a prorated minimum-salary contract. The veteran big man echoed sentiments of loyalty to the Knicks in comments Tuesday, as Berman notes in a separate piece.
“I gave it all, man — my heart, my body and my soul,’’ Stoudemire said. “I truly gave it all. I’m still giving, still dedicated to the game of basketball, still dedicated to New York State and the Knicks.”
Carmelo Anthony is lobbying Stoudemire to stick around, as Berman notes. The 32-year-old Stoudemire has spoken of playing several more years and said recently that he expected he’d talk soon with the Knicks about a future with the team beyond this season. Stoudemire later said he and the Knicks would discuss the possibility of a buyout after the All-Star break. He’d have to hit waivers no later than March 1st to be eligible to play for another team in the postseason.
The Mavs are reportedly the favorites to sign Stoudemire should he buy his way off the Knicks and clear waivers, and the Clippers and Warriors would apparently have interest as well. It’s almost certain that Stoudemire would clear waivers, since no team, including the Sixers, currently has the cap space necessary to take on his salary of nearly $23.411MM. The Knicks could recoup a portion of his salary via set-off if he clears waivers and signs with any other team, though teams and players often agree to waive set-off rights in the event of a buyout. The Mavs, Clippers and Warriors are all limited to paying out no more than the minimum salary anyway, so any set-off wouldn’t amount to much.