The disappointing thing is that the Knicks practically acquired Amar’e at the end of his superstar career. Any guy who begins playing at an NBA level as a teenager and who has a history of suffering a majoir injury before the age of 25 should be a red flag for any gm interested in signing him.
Donnie Walsh should have learned from the Phoenix Suns front office not to sign a star whose team didn’t want to build around. Like you’ve mentioned in an older thread, the Suns didn’t want to resign him for a very good reason. They knew that he was an injury or two away from ending his career. Walsh should have already been an expert at evaluating players with major health issues after the situation that took place with Cuttino Mobley.
The problem began with the summer of Lebron and the anticipation of the Knicks to come out of the free agent class very high. Donnie Walsh didn’t want the previous move of blowing up the roster to look like a failure and for the Knicks to continue being irrelevant after selling their fanbase hope of a winning and successful future.And that’s when the desperation of signing a guy like Amar’e came into play. Walsh was willing to do anything to convince Lebron James that a roster with a player of Amar’e Stoudemire’s caliber then any player that was on Cleveland and New Jersey’s roster. I also believe that Walsh felt that he had to sign the first available free agent on the market in order to entice Lebron to choose the Knicks over teams that already had a top 10 superstar like the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls. The Knicks ended up throwing a lot of their free agent money on Amar’e knowing that there was no way that he was going to turn down their offer.
I don’t believe that Amar’e Stoudemire was brought here to be the next Patrick Ewing and the cornerstone of a championship team. If Walsh was willing to throw money at Joe Johnson who is clearly one of the most overpaid and overrated players in the NBA then it seems like he prioritized building a team that could get out of the first or second round of the playoffs than building a team that could eventually win a title .Walsh knew that there was a great chance that Lebron was going to ditch the Knicks, which he eventually did, but he opted to go to plan b of looking for a quick roster fix. Had Walsh somehow missed out on Amar’e he would have most likely gone after Carlos Boozer.
The argument that the Knicks would have not been able to acquire Carmelo Anthony without Amar’e Stoudemire seems like a flawed argument. How was it that the Nets were in the Carmelo sweepstakes having one of the worst and noncompetitive rosters in the NBA? It seems like Carmelo was willing to go to a team that didn’t have another superstar. Even though the Knicks didn’t have draft picks they could have offered the same players that they ended up giving Denver and would have still had more than a 50 percent shot at acquiring Melo.
We fast forward to 2013 and the Knicks are stuck with a player who is a shell of his former self and who has a contract that is very difficult to unload. I could say that the Knicks have a ten percent chance of trading Amar’e before the next trade deadline only because I’ve seen guys with worse contracts traded away. If the Knicks don’t trade him this season or during the offseason and still have him on their roster a year from now I think their chances of trading him increases to 40 percent by then. As long as he is able to remain healthy going into the middle of next season his contract will be more expendable. There will be several teams that could see value in a player that averages 15 points and 8 rebounds a game that has less than 2 years on his contract. But if the Knicks aren’t able to get rid of Amar’e in the middle of next season they will most likely do so in the summer of 2014. There is no way Amar’e finishes out his contract with the Knicks.