Amar'e Stoudemire

Heat Notes: Vaughn, Stoudemire, Whiteside, Robinson

At age 21, former first-round pick Rashad Vaughn is trying to salvage his NBA career, relays Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Vaughn was part of the Heat’s entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, hoping to earn another shot after being traded twice and waived twice last season.

Vaughn was taken by the Bucks with the 17th pick in the 2015 draft, but his career tailed off quickly after a promising rookie season. In February, Milwaukee dealt him to the Nets, who sent him to the Pelicans two days later. After being waived by New Orleans, Vaughn signed two 10-day contracts with the Magic, but wasn’t kept when the second one expired.

“This is kind of my journey,” Vaughn said. “I’ve got to take a look at it and see what I did wrong and go from there and continue to try to just persevere from there.”

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire, who will be back in Miami this week with the Big3 League, is also hoping for another NBA opportunity, Winderman writes in a separate story. Stoudemire, 35, sat out last season after winning a championship in Israel the year before. He said he would be interested in a return to the Heat, but hasn’t spoken to anyone from the team. “As of right now, I’m showing my athletic ability and the way I move,” Stoudemire said. “I think a lot of teams haven’t really seen me play since the last time I played in Israel, so I just want them to see I have great heath and am able to be on that level. Once they see how healthy I am and how good I feel, I think teams will be able to sign me at that point.”
  • The Heat have been open about their desire to trade Hassan Whiteside, but Stoudemire believes his former teammate can succeed in Miami, Winderman adds in the same story. Stoudemire said Whiteside needs to work on his post skills this summer and become a more effective inside scorer. “You can’t be satisfied with the money and the fame; you have to be able to work to become great,” Stoudemire said. “And that’s one thing that a lot players don’t understand. You can have amazing potential, but you’re never going to reach that potential unless you put in that work.”
  • Duncan Robinson was among the biggest winners in summer league, earning a two-way contract with the Heat. Robinson quickly impressed the team with his outside shot, summer league coach Eric Glass tells Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “He came in and really played well and shot it like we thought and showed us that he can do a couple other things on the court that we liked,” Glass said. “And obviously a two-way came out of that, which he really earned.”

Amar’e Stoudemire To Play In Israel?

3:17pm: In response to Hapoel Jerusalem’s announcement that Stoudemire would play for the team if he doesn’t sign an NBA contract, the veteran NBA big man issued a strong denial, as Dionysis Aravantinos of Eurohoops relays.

The club followed up on Stoudemire’s denial by apologizing to him for the timing of the announcement, but indicating that they still believe he’ll join the squad if he doesn’t get an NBA deal.

“During the last week Amare informed the club’s ownership unambiguously that should he not sign with an NBA team he will play join Hapoel Jerusalem,” the team’s statement read, per Aravantinos. “As a result, the club made an official announcement.”

8:39am: Amar’e Stoudemire will play another season in Israel if he doesn’t receive an NBA offer, tweets international writer David Pick.

Stoudemire, 35, has agreed to re-sign with Hapoel Jerusalem, a team he co-owns in the Israeli Basketball Premier League. Stoudemire announced his retirement in September, but has decided his playing days aren’t over.

He is part of the BIG 3 league this summer and recently said he would like another shot at the NBA. A five-time all-league selection, Stoudemire’s last NBA appearance was with the Heat in 2015/16.

Amar’e Stoudemire Planning NBA Comeback?

Six-time All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire said today that he’s considering a return to the NBA, reports Ian Begley of ESPN. Stoudemire last played professionally in Israel after retiring from the NBA in the summer of 2016.

Stoudemire, 35, who spoke of his desire to potentially return during an appearance on The Michael Kay Show on ESPN 98.7 FM, said – for what’s it worth – that he’s in great shape and training as if he were returning to the NBA. He’ll participate in the BIG3’s second season this summer.

Stoudemire is perhaps best known for his tenure with the Suns for eight seasons from 2002 to 2010, where he teamed up with two-time MVP Steve Nash to form a dynamic duo that made the Western Conference Finals three times – in 2005, 2006, and 2010.

Individually, Stoudemire was named to an All-NBA team five times in his career, earning first team honors in 2007 after averaging 20.4 PPG and a career-high 9.6 RPG.

Amar’e Stoudemire To Play In BIG3

Ice Cube’s three-on-three league has added another notable NBA veteran to its ranks, announcing today that former Suns and Knicks big man Amar’e Stoudemire will join the BIG3 for the 2018 season. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Ian Begley.

Stoudemire will become a co-captain for the BIG3’s Tri-State squad, teaming with fellow former NBAers Jermaine O’Neal and Nate Robinson. While O’Neal participated in the BIG3’s inaugural season in 2017, Stoudemire and Robinson are new additions to the league, joining offseason signees like Carlos Boozer, Glen Davis, Baron Davis, Ron Artest, and many more.

[RELATED: Greg Oden joins BIG3 draft pool]

Stoudemire, the ninth overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, was a six-time All-Star over the course of 14 NBA seasons. In 846 career regular season games, he averaged an impressive 18.9 PPG and 7.8 RPG with a .537 FG%. He nearly replicated those averages (18.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG) in 78 postseason contests.

Although he’s still only 35 years old, Stoudemire hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2015/16 season. The big man spent the 2016/17 campaign playing in Israel before formally announcing his retirement as a player this past September.

Amar’e Stoudemire Retires In Israel

Six-time NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire is retiring from basketball after playing one season in Israel, relays Orazio Cauchi of Sportando.

Stoudemire, 35, made the announcement on Instagram, calling this past season “a great ride for me and my family.” He led his Hapoel Jerusalem team to the Israeli League title and the Eurocup semifinals while being named MVP of the All-Star Game.

“We enjoyed the city, its people, the holy places and of course Hapoel fans,” Stoudemire wrote. “Although I would have liked to return for another season, the team, coach and I could not find a role that I felt would allow me to meaningfully contribute in the way I have always been accustomed to play I feel it is my time now, to return to the shareholder’s position and help make this team even better.”

The experience in Israel capped off a remarkable career for Stoudemire, who entered the NBA straight out of high school and was the ninth pick of the 2002 draft. He appeared in 846 games, averaging 18.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per night. He earned Rookie of the Year honors in Phoenix, where he spent his first eight seasons. He also played five years in New York and one in Dallas before wrapping up his NBA career with 52 games in Miami in 2015/16.

And Ones: Stoudemire, Paul, G League, Fegan

Former NBA All-Star and now Israeli League champion, Amar’e Stoudemire, has completed his first season abroad and is now weighing three major options, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Those options are retirement, returning to Israel to defend his title with Hapoel Jerusalem, or pursue an NBA comeback.

Stoudemire, soon-to-be 35 years old, last appeared in the NBA for a 52-game run with the 2015/16 Heat. In those games, the six-time All-Star posted totals of 5.8 PPG and 4.3 RPG in just under 15 minutes per game. In Israel last season, Stoudemire played a similar role as a sixth man, averaging 9.9 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 23 minutes.

The former Rookie of the Year was last effective in his first season with the Knicks after signing a massive five-year pact. Stoudemire revealed to Berman that while no talks have taken place yet, a reunion with the Knicks is possible. “I’ve followed New York, always pulling for the Knicks to have success,’’ Stoudemire said. “I’ve been hearing the stories [about Carmelo Anthony]. I’m always rooting for the Knicks and Carmelo as well to have success. Unfortunately it wasn’t the case this year. I do have positive energy toward the team, and soon they’ll start succeeding.”

Here are some additional notes from around the basketball world:

  • Soon-to-be free agent Chris Paul is set to opt-out of his Clippers deal but he will retain role as president of the National Basketball Players Associates, per ESPN’s Marc J. Spears (via Twitter). The All-Star guard was reelected to a new term in New York City Friday.
  • NBA agent Dan Fegan has filed a $30MM lawsuit against ISE’s Hank Ratner for fraud and contractual interference, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today (via Twitter). In a separate tweet, Zillgitt says that Fegan alleges ISE and Ratner “orchestrated a Machiavellian conspiracy, to steal Dan Fegan’s clients and destroy his reputation.” ISE said in a statement that Fegan’s lawsuit is a “publicity stunt.”
  • Adam Johnson of D League Digest (via Twitter) reports that the G League expansion draft — which will include four new teams — is scheduled for August 23.

Heat Notes: Bosh, Stoudemire, Stokes

It’s unlikely the Heat will use the stretch provision on Chris Bosh this year, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Teams face an August 31st deadline to trigger that option for the 2016/17 season, and Miami officials don’t appear ready to commit to such a move. The stretch provision is a relatively new rule that allows teams to ease the burden of an unwanted contract by waiving the player and stretching his cap hit for double the number of years left on his deal, plus one. Bosh has three years remaining at $75,868,170, so the Heat could choose to pay him $10,838,750 each year through 2022/23.

One consequence of using the stretch provision is it erases the possibility of a medical retirement, which could happen if an independent doctor rules that Bosh, whose past two seasons have been cut short by blood clots, cannot continue playing in the NBA. That must occur at least one year after a player’s final game, which in Bosh’s case was February 9th, 2016, and would take the entire remaining contract off the Heat’s cap.

There’s more news out of Miami:

  • Bosh continues to send positive messages to teammates about resuming his career, Winderman notes in the same story. If the Heat decide to use the stretch provision on Bosh, he could immediately sign with any other team, most likely one with fewer objections than Miami about letting him play again.
  • Amar’e Stoudemire would have preferred more time in the NBA before joining the Israeli team that he co-owns, Winderman adds in the same piece. Stoudemire appeared in 52 games for the Heat last year and became a regular starter by the end of the season. “I started 37, 38 of the last 40 [regular-season] games,” he said at a press conference in Jerusalem. “My stats were pretty good. But teams want to go younger and have a different mindset about basketball.”
  • Jarnell Stokes, who appeared in five games for Miami last season, hired Priority Sports as his new agent and turned down offers in excess of $500K to play in Europe, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. The 6’9″ center/power forward was acquired in a trade with Memphis last November, but spent most of the season in the D-League, where he earned MVP honors. Miami traded him to New Orleans in February, and the Pelicans promptly released him. The Lokomotiv Kuban franchise in Russia is among the teams interested in signing Stokes, according to Sportando.

Amar’e Stoudemire Received NBA Offers

Amar’e Stoudemire‘s decision to join Hapoel Jerusalem isn’t about “collecting a paycheck overseas,” the veteran big man writes in a piece for The Players’ Tribune. According to Stoudemire, the two-year deal he has signed with one of the top teams in Europe will be part of a “spiritual journey” for him.

“The Scripture speaks about Jerusalem as a holy place, and I can feel that whenever I’m in the city,” Stoudemire writes. “This is a chance for me to be a better husband and a better father, to help me lead my family into righteousness. The opportunity to play there, and grow as a player and person, is a blessing.”

We passed along the news of Stoudemire following up his NBA retirement by inking a deal in Israel in an earlier post, but when the longtime Sun and Knick made it official today, a few more details trickled out, so let’s round those up below…

  • According to Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, his client received several offers from NBA teams this offseason, tweets Ian Begley of ESPN.com. However, those offers came from non-playoff teams, which didn’t interest Stoudemire.
  • Walters also clarified that he and Stoudemire didn’t ask the Suns about the sort of one-day contract that the 33-year-old signed with the Knicks when he announced his retirement (Twitter link via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic). Reports had indicated that Stoudemire would have liked to return to Phoenix, but it sounded like he’d wanted to actually play one last year for the Suns — not simply sign a ceremonial contract with the team as he retired.
  • Stoudemire’s contract in Israel won’t allow him to join an NBA team in the spring, as Frank Isola of The New York Daily News tweets. That’s no surprise for 2017, since it’s a two-year contract, but it’s not clear if Isola is referring to 2018 as well.
  • As part of the agreement that will see him become a player for Hapoel Jersualem, Stoudemire is selling his minority stake in the team to majority owner Ori Allon, per Marc Berman of The New York Post (Twitter link).

Amar’e Stoudemire To Play In Israel

AUGUST 1, 8:50am: Stoudemire has officially signed a two-year deal with Hapoel Jerusalem, according to Pick (Twitter link). “I’m looking forward to help the team compete for titles,” Stoudemire said.

JULY 31, 10:01am: Amar’e Stoudemire, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, has signed to play in Israel next season, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Stoudemire officially ended his NBA career at age 33 by signing a ceremonial contract with the Knicks, but he isn’t ready to give up the game completely.

Stoudemire will play for Hapoel Jerusalem,  a team he partially owns along with several other investors. Pick notes that he will become the most famous former NBA star ever to play in Israel.

Stoudemire spent 14 years in the NBA, playing for the Suns, Knicks, Mavericks and Heat. He appeared in 52 games for Miami last season, starting 36, and averaged 5.8 points and 4.3 rebounds in nearly 15 minutes per night.

Stoudemire’s links to Israel are based in his embrace of Judaism. When he joined the Heat in 2015, he told Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel that he considers himself “culturally Jewish” and was planning to obtain Israeli citizenship.

“When I traveled to Israel for the first time, the world took hold of that and [the media] made it a big deal, and … it just kind of blew up from there,” he said. “But I was always this way, even when I was in Phoenix or even in high school here in Florida. But it just happened to become more visible when I traveled to Israel.”

Pacific Notes: Gay, Durant, Stoudemire, Suns

Rudy Gay made some comments earlier this week that made NBA observers raise an eyebrow, as he complained about the lack of stability and consistency in Sacramento and admitted that he hadn’t even been following the Kings‘ offseason moves. Gay has since followed up on those comments, so let’s dive into a Friday morning round-up of Pacific notes for the latest on Gay and a couple other players…

  • According to Sean Cunningham of ABC10, Gay said that he spoke to Kings GM Vlade Divac this week. And while Gay acknowledged that things haven’t necessarily changed since Monday, he expressed some optimism about his situation going forward, whether that’s in Sacramento or somewhere else. “At this point in my career I just want to be happy,” Gay said. “I talked to Vlade and we’re trying to make that happen.”
  • Refuting a report that surfaced recently, Kevin Durant tells Shams Charania of The Vertical that he never promised Oklahoma City teammates Russell Westbrook and Nick Collison that he’d return to the Thunder before he signed with the Warriors. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth,” Durant said. “We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. … I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that.”
  • Speaking to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic, Amar’e Stoudemire confirmed a Tuesday report, admitting that he had interest in rejoining the Suns during the past couple offseasons, but that there wasn’t mutual interest in that scenario. “The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire said. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.” Stoudemire ultimately signed a ceremonial contract this week to retire as a Knick, rather than as a Sun.