One of the biggest NBA rumors this year is the fact that the New York Knicks might be looking to trade forward Amar'e Stoudemire. Stoudemire, along with Carmelo Anthony, makes this Knicks team look good on paper, but on the court look dismal. So it is no surprise that the Knicks are looking to get rid of one of the problems in order to get a solution.
When New York acquired Stoudemire in 2010, Knicks Nation was happy to be getting a superstar in The Garden. For only the cheap price of about $100 million through five years, the Knicks were able to solidify a possible franchise man.
What a mistake that turned out to be.
For the first part of the 2010-2011 season, the Knicks were a decent team, but nowhere near where most fans felt they should be.
With a record of 26-25 in the first half of the season, the Knicks were averaging 106.5 points per game all while giving up an average of 106.2 points a game (29th in the league). With a poor defensive game, Stoudemire and the Knicks were failing to impress in the Big Apple.
Now, Stoudemire did contribute his 22.1 points per game in the first half, so it's hard to blame the rough start all on him.
But then Carmelo Anthony happened.
When the Knicks traded for Anthony, fans were overcome with glee—Anthony, a New York native, coming home and using his scoring ability to lead the Knicks to the championship.
Boy, were they wrong.
After finally getting Anthony in the second half of the season, New York took a nose dive. Their efficiency rating, which was 118.6 (3rd in the league), dropped to 114.1 (ninth in the league). And not only did their efficiency rating drop, but so did their points per game (106.5 down to 104.7), assists (21.4 down to 20) and rebounding ( 40.8 down to 39) per game. All after Anthony became a Knick.
And not only did the team stats drop, but Stoudemire himself felt the shock wave of Anthony landing in New York. Both his efficiency rating and points per game dropped significantly after the arrival of Melo. He started the first half of the season averaging 26.1 points, which dropped to 20.5 in the second half with Anthony. And his efficiency rating, which was 26.2 before the All-Star break, sank to 22.3 for the second half of the season.
Some argued it would take some time for the team to gel. Fair enough.
Let's take a look at the Knicks this year.
For starters, their efficiency rating has dropped from 114.1 to a lowly 101.3 (21st in the league). Additionally, Stoudemire is now averaging only 17.6 points per game and has even a lower efficiency rating of 16.3, which puts him as the 61st best player in the NBA according to efficiency after being the fourth best in 2010-2011.
Something is up. To me, it looks like Stoudemire and the Knicks stopped playing well with the arrival of Anthony.
To make my point, they are now 22-28 since receiving Anthony on Feb. 21.
Something has to be done,not only to make the Knicks better, but the help Stoudemire's stats go back up. And the only way that this seems possible is that the Knicks trade him away.
On the court, Stoudemire and Anthony just don't complement each other. They both are scoring forwards with redundant roles. Additionally, with the Knicks lacking a proper point guard to facilitate the actions on the court, Anthony is usually the one that ends up with the ball in his hands trying to direct the offense.
And we all know how much he loves to pass the ball, with his 4.4 assists per game.
So the Knicks' only hope is to make a trade, probably involving Stoudemire, where they get a good point guard in return.
John Finger of ESPNPhiladelphia reported a rumor saying the 76ers were looking at Stoudemire. And while that probably won't happen, it would definitely shape up to be an interesting trade considering all the guard talent that the 76ers posses. And ESPN's Chad Ford reported that "the Knicks were shopping Amare hard."
The sad fact is, the Knicks are not doing well with Anthony and Stoudemire on the court together. And with the recent spike in interest of Stoudemire, it seems like it is now or never for the Knicks to trade him away to get a point guard compatible with Anthony's play style, and to put Stoudemire on a team where he has more freedom to show off his scoring talent.
And if they do that, the Knicks—and Amar'e Stoudemire—would be taking a step forward after recently taking two steps back.