Amare Stoudemire reportedly chooses Mavericks over Clippers
The tale of the Clippers’ pursuit of Amare Stoudemire will go down as a short story.
The six-time All-Star committed to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, according to multiple reports, only hours after being released by the New York Knicks.
Stoudemire cannot officially sign with Dallas until he clears waivers Wednesday afternoon but could be in uniform that night for the Mavericks’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Clippers’ apparent failure to lure the veteran power forward-center leaves them with dwindling options as Thursday’s trade deadline nears.
Clippers Coach Doc Rivers has said he probably would sign a player to a 10-day contract after the All-Star break, and the team will continue to monitor player buyouts.
The Clippers are in need of depth at power forward after Blake Griffin had surgery last week to remove a staph infection from his right elbow. Griffin is expected to miss at least another two weeks.
Stoudemire will arrive in Dallas with the upside of a proven scorer who can boost the Mavericks’ frontcourt. He also comes with two downsides: his knees.
Stoudemire, 32, has missed more than a season’s worth of games in the last 31/2 years because of knee, ankle and wrist issues.
He can be a valuable backup when healthy, averaging 12 points and 6.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game this season for the Knicks. But he had played in only 36 games because of various injuries.
Dallas had at least one significant edge in its pursuit of Stoudemire — veteran center Tyson Chandler, who spent three seasons as Stoudemire’s teammate in New York. The Mavericks also could offer significant playing time at power forward after sending backup Brandan Wright to Boston as part of the Rajon Rondo trade.
Knicks President Phil Jackson told reporters in New York that Stoudemire, who is making $23.4 million this season in the final year of his contract, had initiated buyout talks in hopes of joining a playoff contender. The Knicks (10-43) are in full rebuild mode and are seeking to slash costs as part of their makeover.
Dallas is 36-19 and fifth in the Western Conference standings, half a game ahead of the Clippers (35-19).
Stoudemire never lived up to the five-year, $99.7-million contract he signed with New York in the summer of 2010. He was an All-Star for the last time during the 2010-11 season before injuries cut short his playing time in each of the next four seasons.
“Although I leave the Knicks with a heavy heart, I wish the organization nothing but the best of luck,” Stoudemire said in a statement released by the team. “Once a Knick always a Knick.”
Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch
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