I know, it’s a proposition that nobody would have ever thought possible two years ago when Amar’e Stoudemire signed with the Knicks for five years, $100 million.
But it is a question worth asking, considering the current construct of the Knicks team and the incredible early season success they’ve had thus far. Even more shocking, the question has moved away from would the Knicks trade Amar’e, to can the Knicks trade Amar’e?
Remember, this is a guy with two more years on his deal after this one at about $20 million annually. He is currently missing time due to knee issues, which have always been a problem in his career and why his contract couldn’t get insured when New York originally signed him. Is there a team in the NBA that would take on the risk that is Amar’e Stoudemire and give up something meaningful in return to make it worth the Knicks time?
There is. Hear me out.
Besides being an effective basketball player, Amar’e is still a player with huge name recognition and star power. A franchise that brings in STAT may be searching for another way to build their brand, or even change their franchise’s identity. A team that is in search of a re-modeling, that is trying to steal headlines and become more than what they are. Does this all sound familiar yet? It should.
It’s the Brooklyn Nets.
And there is a deal that works, though the teams have to wait until players can be moved after signing new contracts.
The Knicks would send Stoudemire to the Nets for Kris Humphries, Mirze Teletovic, Josh Childress and the trade exceptions the Nets received from the Mehmet Okur and Shawne Williams trades. There is a chance another player (someone in the Keith Bogans range) would need to be included to make the salaries match up better.
Isn’t that a deal, as a Knicks fan, you would do?
If there is a weakness on this current Knicks team, it’s rebounding. Humphries is a better rebounder and interior defender than STAT and fits the current model of the Knicks roster. He would become the first big off the bench that would play around 25 minutes a night and grab somewhere between 8-10 rebounds without commanding much of the offensive attention and allowing the wing players to make plays. He’d be the prize of the deal for the Knicks, as Teletovic would simply provide depth to an already deep bench and Childress would likely be bought out after the trade.
As for the Nets, they’re still looking for another true star to team with Deron Williams in Brooklyn. They probably don’t have the financial flexibility to sign Dwight Howard in free agency after the year, so they’ll have to make another trade like they did for Joe Johnson last season. By no means is Humphries an untouchable for them, and they’d bite at the opportunity to take on a New York star to try and steal headlines.
And I don’t think there would be concern on the Knicks end as far as trading within the limits of New York goes. Right now, they have to be about making their team better. It’s hard to believe, but Kris Humphries makes the Knicks a better team right now when compared to Amar’e Stoudemire. That’s a sentence I never thought I’d be typing in any circumstance. Yet here we are.
So, I ask you, on this day of giving thanks, would you trade Amar’e Stoudemire to the Brooklyn Nets?