After playing together for a season-and-a-half, it’s apparent that Melo and Amar’e don’t possess the chemistry necessary to take the Knicks to the next level. Their exorbitant salaries also make it virtually impossible for the Knicks to afford to surround them with the pieces necessary to build a championship-caliber team.
One of them needs to be traded, and Amar’e is the obvious choice.
As noted, Melo is the better defender of the two and is more versatile offensively. He has greater range on his shot, is quicker off the dribble and is able to play the 3 and the 4. He also possesses a different skill set than Chandler, who, like Stoudemire, scores most of his points off the pick-and-roll.
Melo’s game is better suited for Coach Woodson’s offense. Unlike D’Antoni, who built his offense around stretching the floor and running the pick-and-roll, Woodson prefers to feature his scorers in the post and with isolation plays.
At the age of 28, Melo is in the prime of his career, whereas Amar’e, though just a year older, is breaking down. He suffered such severe knee injuries early in his career that the Knicks were unable to insure his $100 million contract, and he’s missed several games due to back injuries during his two seasons in New York.
This past season, Amar’e lacked the explosiveness that had made him such a potent offensive force. Unable to get any lift on drives to the basket, he had his shot blocked at an alarming rate and averaged just 17.5 points per game, the lowest since his rookie season.
The best time for the Knicks to move Amar’e would be before Thursday’s [Only registered and activated users can see images. Click Here To Register...]
draft. The trade market heats up prior to the draft as team’s look to add or unload draft picks and position their rosters and finances for free agency.
The Knicks don’t have a pick in the first round of the draft, and general manager Glen Grunwald may be able to use Amar’e to acquire one. Trading Amar’e could also free up money for the Knicks to offer to a veteran free-agent point guard like Steve Nash.
Trading Stoudemire won’t be easy, though. Teams will be reluctant to take on an uninsured contract worth $64.4 million over three years for an injury-prone player whose skills are in decline. But if Gilbert Arenas and Rashard Lewis have taught us anything, it’s that no player is untradeable.
Grunwald’s best bet is to find a team with plenty of salary cap space that would benefit at the box office from a marquee name. He may have to take some bloated contracts back in return.
The Knicks' organization and their fans should be grateful to Stoudemire for turning around the franchise, but there’s no place for him in the Knicks’ future. This is Carmelo Anthony’s team now. Grunwald needs to try and trade Amar’e this week.