Another big name from the best NBA free agent class has made a formal commitment to sign with a team. Joe Johnson was the first to agree to terms, and now Amar’e Stoudemire has agreed to a deal with the New York Knicks. The deal is a maximum deal that will equal about $100 million over the next 5 years. Stoudemire and the Knicks can’t sign the deal officially until July 8th.
The Knicks had cleared enough cap space to be able to afford two max players and they are confident that they are still in the running for players such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. With this signing, I would assume that they will not sign Bosh, instead they would be more interested in a guard. I am pretty certain that Wade will be staying in Miami. That leaves LeBron.
Is Amar’e enough to land LeBron on the NBA’s biggest stage? My gut instinct is no. The Knicks are definitely much improved with this signing, but there are still huge holes – mainly, who else do they have? The Knicks have practically no-one still under contract for next year. If LeBron wants to win a championship next season, his best choice would be the Bulls. Despite that, I’m still saying LeBron will be a Cav next season.
If no-one comes to New York with Amar’e, will he regret it? Not according to him:
“Totally comfortable, totally confident that my leadership qualities will uplift all of us to do something great this upcoming season,” Stoudemire said. “So again, the Knicks are back.”
What Amar’e does bring to the Knicks is scoring ability from down-low. When he played for Coach Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix, he averaged 20+ PPG each season. His one weakness is defense, he is not known as a great defender or rebounder, so he is not the answer to Dwight Howard in the East. If the Knicks are able to re-sign David Lee, Amar’e and Lee could be a great front-court combination for several years.
The Knicks are moving in the right direction, but does this signing in itself bring them to the playoffs next season?
Photo Credit: Sipkin/News via NYDailyNews.com
- New York State Of Mind: Amar’e Stoudemire and New York Knicks Agree On Max Deal (bleacherreport.com)
- AP Source: Stoudemire in Meetings With Knicks (nytimes.com)
- Amare Stoudemire, New York Knicks reach agreement in principle (sports.espn.go.com)