Amar'e Stoudemire signed with the New York Knicks in July 2010 as their big free-agent pickup when LeBron James spurned the city. The All-Star power forward quickly brought the Knicks back to relevance with a playoff berth last season.
Stoudemire, 29, has struggled a bit this season by collecting 17.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks on 42.9 percent shooting a night. This is considerably down from last year's 25.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks on 50.2 percent shooting.
While Stoudemire is having a down year, the Knicks shouldn't be so quick to unload the immensely talented STAT, who still has many strong years left. Amar'e brings a strong low post scoring presence and has demonstrated time and again he takes over a game offensively.
Throughout his first nine NBA seasons, Stoudemire has averaged 21.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks on 53.3 percent shooting. These numbers helped Stoudemire achieve the 2002-03 Rookie of the Year Award, six All-Star appearances, four All-NBA Second Teams and one All-NBA First Team selection.
New York has since brought Stoudemire some help with star small forward Carmelo Anthony and center Tyson Chandler. Despite all the talent on the roster, the Knicks have staggered to a 7-13 mark and are not appearing to be playoff contenders.
A big reason why the Knicks are not winning is a lack of a true point guard who could help Stoudemire and Anthony mesh well offensively.
The Knicks have some lemons at the 1 spot. Mike Bibby is way past his prime and is stinking up the joint. Iman Shumpert is just a rookie and is not shooting well while having a 1-1 assist/turnover ratio.
Baron Davis was picked up off waivers from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he has been injured and it will be a long shot for him to be an effective point.
So what do the Knicks do? Instead of waiting to sign an established point guard like Deron Williams in the offseason, New York is flirting with the notion of trading away Stoudemire.
While 76ers president Rod Thorn is denying Philadelphia ever inquired about Stoudemire, the possible trade of Amar'e and Tyson Chandler to the Magic for Howard has not been denied.
Notice any problematic inaction here? A 76ers executive denied the rumor, not a New York executive. Plus, nothing has been done to discredit the Orlando trade scenario.
Rumors come and go, especially if they involve stars, but New York is doing nothing to squash any that pertain to Stoudemire. This shows Stoudemire enormous disrespect. He is having a down year, but the $20 million a year player had a great 2010-11 season.
If the Knicks trade Stoudemire or even Chandler, it would make premier free agents think twice before inking a deal with New York.
That's why the Knicks need to assure Stoudemire that these trade rumors are just that. They signed Stoudemire to be a difference maker for their team's future, and they need to show him the respect he deserves.