Report: Amar’e Stoudemire Prefers Mavs If He Opts To Leave Knicks

The Western Conference arms race is never over. Just weeks after trading for Rajon Rondo, the Dallas Mavericks might be close to adding another former All-Star from the Eastern Conference. According to a report, Amar’e Stoudemire prefers to sign with Dallas if he opts to seek and is afforded a buy-out from the New York Knicks.

Here’s Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN:

The Dallas Mavericks would be considered front-runners to sign Amar’e Stoudemire if the 13-year veteran opts to pursue a contract buyout from the New York Knicks, according to league sources.

Stoudemire made it clear in his public comments that he’s not yet sure if he wants to seek a buyout from the Knicks to join a contender for the stretch run, but sources told that Dallas has quickly emerged as a prime landing spot if he becomes a free agent.

The Mavericks also remain interested in free agent big man Jermaine O’Neal as the 38 year-old works on his own to regain game shape after months away from the NBA. ESPN’s report states that Dallas is prepared to make enough roster room available to sign both Stoudemire and O’Neal if the opportunity presents itself.

Stoudemire is unsure if he’ll ask the lottery-bound Knicks for a buy-out from his contract. The former Phoenix Suns superstar told Yahoo Sports earlier this week that he’d spend the All-Star break pondering his future and make a decision shortly thereafter.

Even in his depleted state after a series of health maladies, Stoudemire would still be a major upgrade for the Dallas frontcourt. Rick Carlisle has been searching for a reliable and effective reserve big since his team parted with Brandan Wright in the Rondo trade and has yet to find a solution. Charlie Villanueva is a talented shooter and nice story; Dwight Powell is a strong body and gifted athlete; Greg Smith takes up space and is an underrated finisher; and even Richard Jefferson has proven somewhat game as a small-ball four.

But none of them offer the Mavs what Stoudemire could in theory. He’s no longer the leaper that Wright is and doesn’t protect the rim, either, but remains a viable pick-and-roll threat whether diving to the rim or popping to the perimeter. The 32 year-old is no defender, but his sheer size would prove a boon come spring against frontlines like those of the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers, too.

Basically, adding Amar’e would help plug the biggest hole created by acquiring Rondo – the vacancy created by Wright. Though that likely seems an inconsequential development in the grand scheme of the league, Dallas’ bench units have struggled since late December and any transaction that could move the needle ever so slightly matters in the stacked Western Conference.

We’ll keep you updated as Stoudemire makes a decision on his future.

What do you think?

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