How Amar'e Stoudemire's Knee Injury Impacts His Knicks Future
According to a report via Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York, New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire will be sidelined for two to three weeks. This comes as a result of a ruptured cyst behind his left knee.
STAT has already been ruled out of the Knicks' November 1 season opener against the Brooklyn Nets (via The Chicago Tribune). Beyond that point, it is unclear how much time Stoudemire is going to miss.
Although we could speculate what the Knicks will do to replace the six-time All-Star in the rotation, there is a bigger question to answer. By bigger, of course, we're speaking about the long-term affect of said injury.
Specifically, what impact will this injury have on Stoudemire's future with the New York Knicks?
When the team acquired Carmelo Anthony, many believed that he and Stoudemire would form a championship-caliber tandem. In their two seasons together, however, the Knicks have won just one playoff game.
With doubts of legitimacy and this latest injury, critics who believe the two cannot function together will only grow louder. In turn, the question of whether or not Stoudemire will remain with the Knicks for the long-term will arise.
So which is it? Should the Knicks hold onto STAT? Or should they give up on their $100 million man?
Can't Be Amnestied
If the New York Knicks are planning to push Amar'e Stoudemire out of town, they'll have to find an alternative route from the amnesty provision. The reason for that, of course, is because the Knicks prematurely utilized the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups in 2011.
Should the New York Knicks trade Amar'e Stoudemire?
In other words, the easiest way to rid yourselves of what you now view as an undeserving $60 million contract is no longer a possibility. Unless they find a loophole that we haven't already spotted, there appears to be just one way to move Stoudemire off of the roster.
Could He Be Traded?
Make no mistake about Amar'e Stoudemire's trade market value, as he remains one of the premier players at his position. Despite his postseason shortcomings and a history of injuries, Stoudemire has established a reputation as one of the game's top power forwards.
For that reason, there is no logic in believing that he is an un-tradable commodity. There is also no reason to believe that the Knicks will not explore trade possibilities.
Stoudemire remains an All-Star caliber player who could thrive in 2013 the way he did in 2011. Although his reputation may be damaged by what has transpired over the past calendar year, he remains capable of producing at a higher level than a majority of the NBA's active power forwards.
This opens the door for a potential trade. Prior to pulling the trigger, however, James Dolan must ask himself whether or not it is the logical move to make.
No matter how much frustration may be building in Stoudemire's injuries, it would be a severe mistake to trade him.
Should Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony develop the proper chemistry together, they could be one of the most dominant offensive tandems in all of basketball. As STAT showed us during the first half of his tenure with the Knicks, he can also be a game-changer on defense.
It's simply a matter of time before we realize whether or not the upside can be met.
Although patience is a quality that New York sports fans have never possessed, the potential of the Knicks' dynamic duo is worth the wait. Both STAT and 'Melo are capable of scoring 30 points on any given evening.
Until they've experience a full 82-game regular season together, judging their early failures would be nothing short of premature. It would also be an abandonment of an experiment that could have led to an NBA title.
Unless the Knicks plan on mediocre postseason success for the next half-decade, holding onto Stoudemire is the only logical option.
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