Note: This post originally appeared on MavsFanatic.com
The Dallas Mavericks announce they have officially signed power forward Amar’e Stoudemire, following a buyout of his contract with the New York Knicks over the weekend.
We are pleased to announce the #AmareToDallas campaign is a success. Today, the Dallas Mavericks announce they have signed power forward Amar’e Stoudemire, following a buyout of his contract with the New York Knicks over the weekend. The deal believed to be a prorated, one-year deal ($485,670) at the veteran’s minimum. The Mavs will waive second-year shooting guard Ricky Ledo, in order to make room for Stoudemire. The expectation is that A’mare will be in uniform for the Mavs game at Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night and will wear the number 1.
This bittersweet news comes on the heels of the news that Jermaine O’Neal has halted his comeback attempt due to an inability to get physically fit enough to join the Mavs, after working over the past seven weeks in an attempt to do so. (See statement by Jermaine O’Neal via his Instgram account)
After agreeing to a buyout with the New York Knicks over the weekend, that, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, saw Stoudemire giving back close to $2 million of the money that was owed, the Mavs jumped out as the early ‘frontrunner’ for Stoudemire’s services. The Clippers and Suns were also said to be interested in Amar’e, with the San Antonio Spurs listed as the darkhorse according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Perhaps Josh Smith landing with the Houston Rockets ended up being a blessing in disguise for the Mavs. After trading fan favorite Brandan Wright to the Boston Celtics in the late-December trade there has been a glaring hole at the backup power forward/center position for the Mavs. At 32, Amar’e seemingly slides into Wright’s former role, working in as a much better fit than Smith, in terms of size and ability. CBS basketball insider Ken Berger reported that Stoudemire was intrigued with the idea of teaming up with (alley-oop artist) Dirk Nowitzki in a role that would complement each other. Stoudemire also seemed to be leaning towards the Mavs as one of the few teams that could offer substantial playing time amongst playoff contenders.
USA Today Sports Images
The 6-10, 245 pound power forward has averaged 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 36 games this season with the New York Knicks, while playing limited minutes due to ankle, wrist and knee injuries. Born in 1982 in Lake Wales, Florida, Stoudemire was drafted as the ninth overall pick by the Phoenix Suns in 2002.
Nicknamed “Stat” (Standing Tall and Talented) earlier in his career, Stoudemire was often the subject of highlight reel dunks for the first decade of his career, but several surgeries and father time have finally caught up with him. The Mavs, armed with one of the best training staffs in the NBA, hope they can keep him to a clean bill of health by giving him the same type of world-class treatment that has kept Tyson Chandler relatively healthy for the majority of the season.
Although he’s a shell of his former self, Stoudemire easily provides a major offensive boost for a Mavs team that has continued to struggle to score consistently with their second unit since the departure of Brandan Wright in their late December trade for Rajon Rondo. He’s a significant upgrade offensively over current Mavs big men Greg Smith, Dwight Powell and Bernard James, and will be a heaven-sent for point guard Devin Harris who has seen his production dramatically decline since Wright’s departure.
“I’m excited to be a part of a first-class organization. To play alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and other great players, I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for me to compete for a championship.”
– Ama’re Stoudemire
Amar’e should thrive in the Mavs pick-and-roll offense, although he now lacks the athleticism to connect on throw down lobs from anywhere on the floor in the same vain as Brandan Wright. In fact, since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, Stoudemire has only made 10 alley-oop dunks, with five of those coming during the 2010-11 season. While he’s not quite the same player he once was, Stoudemire can still get up. Currently, he’s 32nd in the NBA with 42 dunks, good enough for second on the Mavs.
Stoudemire lacks the aptitude and attentiveness to be a credible force on the defensive end of the floor, at this point the Mavs could use any big man available. With Jermaine O’Neal out of the picture, at least for the time being, Amar’e’s addition to the Mavs could not have come at a better time. Look for him to play the majority of his minutes at the backup four position, along with a few minutes at the five. Let us all bathe in red wine. #AmareToDallas is now complete.
Check out this ESPN report about how Amar’e likes to bathe in red wine as an off-day recovery ritual.
Mavs Projected Depth Chart
Point Guard: Rajon Rondo | JJ Barea | Raymond Felton
Shooting Guard: Monta Ellis | Devin Harris
Small Forward: Chandler Parsons | Richard Jefferson | Al Farouq-Aminu
Power Forward: Dirk Nowitzki | Amare Stoudemire | Charlie Villaneuva
Center: Tyson Chandler | Bernard James | Greg Smith | Dwight Powell
Amar’e Stoudemire’s Top 10 Career Dunks
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports