With the recent news that it's unlikely Amar’e Stoudemire will play again for the Knicks during the opening round of the playoffs due to a hand injury, the Knicks’ front office must be second-guessing themselves as to whether or not they made a mistake using their amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups.
According to the newest CBA, each team is allowed to use an amnesty cut one time to release any player on their roster without hurting their salary-cap situation.
This means the Knicks are stuck with Amar’e Stoudemire and the remainder of his three year/$65 million contract whether they like it or not.
This is now the second season in a row that Amar’e Stoudemire has been injured during the playoffs for the Knicks. He has certainly not played to his potential during his six career playoff games with the team, and they have lost all six as a result.
STAT is starting to build a reputation for himself of not stepping up during playoff time. With Phoenix, there were also multiple instances that forced Stoudemire to miss playoff games.
The first one was in 2006 when he missed most of the regular season and the playoffs with stiffness in both of his knees. Then the following year during the 2007 playoffs, Stoudemire was suspended for Game 5 of the second round for leaving the bench after an altercation broke out on the court between teammate Steve Nash and opponent Robert Horry.
When you put all of that together, Amar’e Stoudemire has now been hampered by injury or suspension in four of his eight possible playoff appearances. If he has another poor showing in the playoffs next season, the Knicks have to cut their losses and consider moving him.
The only problem is how much is a 30-year-old power forward with three consecutive poor playoff showings and an average salary of $22 million worth? Probably not very much.
With Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler also set to make around $34 million combined for the next two seasons, the Knicks will have no shot at signing another superstar via free agency and a very slim chance of trading Stoudemire for a superstar in return.
When you look back on it, using the amnesty cut to release Chauncey Billups and not saving it to potentially use on Amar’e Stoudemire could haunt the Knicks and result in mediocrity for the next few seasons.