Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer
Amid speculation that Carmelo Anthony will reportedly opt out of his current contract with the Knicks, Amar’e Stoudemire is expected to opt in, so to speak, by declining his early termination option for next season. He’ll earn $23.4 million. (Comcast Sportsnet, June 15).
Such a decision doesn’t come as a surprise, as this is a good business move for Stoudemire. He’ll continue to reap the benefits of the five year, $100 million contract he signed with New York in the summer of 2010.
On the basketball side, the union between Stoudemire and the Knicks hasn’t been quite the fairytale some may have expected it to be when the man otherwise known as STAT came to the Big Apple. He’s had to fight off continuous injuries, and his play has subsequently suffered because of it in recent years.
Still, when utilized properly last season, the big man made himself useful while serving as an offensive spark off the bench. He averaged 11.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in just 22.6 minutes through 65 games (his most played in the last three seasons).
As the Knicks look for different solutions in an effort to ignite the offense a bit more this coming season, don’t be surprised if Stoudemire happens to thrive while playing a role in the triangle. A man of many offensive talents, he can shoot the jumper, post up with his back to the basket, or even attack opposing defenders head-on while driving to the hole.
Though his minutes may still need to be monitored to avoid further injury or general wear and tear on his body, Stoudemire could still build on last season’s success to become a nice offensive complement yet again.