By Bryan Murphy
No need to worry anymore Mavs fans, help is on the way. According to multiple sources, Amar’e Stoudemire is coming to Dallas.
Following a buyout of his contract over the weekend with the New York Knicks, the 6X All-Star has agreed to join the Mavericks on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum. The Mavs were the front-runners all along to land the big man along with the Clippers and his other former team, the Suns. Ultimately it came down to where Stoudemire could receive the most playing time while still competing for a championship as he nears the end of the road for his decorated career.
The 2003 Rookie of the Year and former All-NBA first teamer is just a shell of his former self due to countless injuries and father time, but can still provide instant help off the bench from the power forward and center positions. He has averaged 12 PPG and 6.8 RPG this season in 36 games with the 10-43 New York Knicks. The Mavs are bringing him here in hopes to fill the void of Brandan Wright, the high-flying back-up big man that the Mavs lost in the Rajon Rondo trade in December.
Although Stoudemire’s constant injuries throughout his career should be a reason for concern, it is worth noting that Dallas has one of the best medical staffs in the NBA, led by athletic trainer Casey Smith. If there is any Head Coach in the NBA to rejuvenate a career that has seen better days such as Stoudemire’s, it’s Rick Carlisle. Carlisle’s genius and pick-and-roll system here in Dallas with Monta and Rondo is right up Stoudemire’s alley. Amar’e thrives in a pick-and-roll offense and you could potentially see his numbers go up with the Mavs due to the facts that he’ll rarely ever have to be the best guy on the floor with this stacked Mavs roster.
It also helps that him and Tyson Chandler were former teammates in New York the past couple seasons and there should be no chemistry problems amongst the two big men when they are both on the floor at the same time.
The Mavericks had been getting very little production from the back-up center position, even signing Bernard James last week since Greg Smith and Dwight Powell just weren’t cutting it. The signing of Stoudemire has come at the perfect time with the Mavs looking to bounce back fully loaded and healthy after the All-Star break.
On paper, the pick-up of Amar’e is good for both the Mavs and Amar’e. It greatly bolsters the front line for the Mavericks and gives Amar’e a legitimate shot at winning an NBA title. If Carlisle and the Mavs can gel this all together heading into the playoffs, look out for a long playoff run that we haven’t seen here in Dallas in nearly four years.