Though over the past few years it has been a major topic of discussion, the trade front is currently looking very quiet for the New York Knicks.
A lot of that has to do with the Knicks' fantastic start to the 2012-13 season, as their deep roster has helped them stay amongst the top two in the Eastern Conference for much of this young campaign.
After two years of building this roster, it seems as though the Knicks are finally finished and ready to focus completely on their on-court task for the time being.
Recently though, reports emerged from Howard Beck that New York attempted to trade forward Amar'e Stoudemire earlier this year. Here's an excerpt from Beck's article in the New York Times:
This past summer, the Knicks offered Stoudemire to nearly every team in the league — “available for free,” as one rival executive put it. But they found no takers because of his diminished production, his health and his contract, which has three years and $65 million remaining (counting this season) and which is uninsured against a career-ending knee injury.
Beck went on to say that Stoudemire was offered to Toronto for Andrea Bargnani—though that move was nipped in the bud by James Dolan—and to Orlando in a package with Tyson Chandler in an attempt to acquire then-Magic center Dwight Howard.
At this point, Stoudemire remains the most likely Knick to be traded—or better yet—the Knick the franchise is most likely to want to trade. He has a very worrying injury history, is coming off of a career-worst season and is also the fifth-highest payed player in the league, with $65 million coming his way over the next three years.
On top of that, after missing the first third of this season, there are worries about whether or not Stoudemire will fit in with this impressive team, especially with Carmelo Anthony having so much success at his power forward position.
But despite all this, Beck's report indicates that the Stoudemire trade saga should be over for now, with the team likely coming to terms with the fact that the forward is unmovable unless they want to receive a much worse package in return.
Moving forward, it is unlikely that Stoudemire will be traded, simply because it's impossible at this point. But it's important to understand that this isn't necessarily a bad thing for the Knicks.
Stoudemire may be overpaid and coming off a bad year, but at this point, his imminent return to action should be seen as a boost for the Knicks.
The Knicks' roster without Stoudemire is very talented as it stands. Despite having Stoudemire's $19.95 million on the books, the Knicks have built a team with the likes of Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Tyson Chandler at the core.
Thanks to some fantastic work from Glen Grunwald, STAT's salary hasn't stopped them from building a fantastic base of talent.
With the team having so much success without him, Stoudemire can now be seen as a luxury—a player who isn't necessarily needed but can still be helpful. When you can have that in the form of a player who is still a borderline All-Star, you're in a good position as a franchise.
There's a good chance that Stoudemire will be given an opportunity to shine in a sixth man role upon his return, something he reportedly wouldn't mind, and if he can have success there that should put any trade talk to bed.
Beyond Stoudemire, it really is hard to see the Knicks actively trying to make any other trades this season.
Besides Stoudemire, the Knicks have a roster filled with good contracts, with every player contributing to the team. Players like Ronnie Brewer and Rasheed Wallace on the veteran's minimum, and J.R. Smith on only $2.8 million are the kind of players you want to keep.
Sure, if an opportunity presents itself for the Knicks to improve the roster, Grunwald will have to consider, but it's unlikely that he will be active in trying to do so. Right now, the Knicks have talent and outside of their big three, not a single player is being paid more than $4.05 million.
For once in what seems like an eternity, this should be a quiet season for the Knicks in terms of roster moves. They did their work in the summer, and their offseason activity is paying dividends with the team's hot start.
These 15 players are what the Knicks should have to work with for the remainder of the season, and that should be great to hear for any fan of the team.