Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Team: New York Knicks
2012-13 Per-Game Stats: 14.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.7 blocks, 22.1 PER
Does anybody outside of New York realize that Amar'e Stoudemire is A) still a productive basketball player when he's healthy and B) only 30 years old?
STAT posted a 22.1 PER during the 2012-13 season, if that gives you any indication of the type of impact he makes when on the court. His per-36-minute numbers are similarly impressive: 21.8 points and 7.7 rebounds on 57.7 percent shooting.
The problem is that Stoudemire has forgotten how to stay healthy, and his knees are completely betraying him. He appeared in just 29 games last year, and he was only able to earn 23.5 minutes per game when he was healthy enough to suit up in anything other than, well, a suit.
In July, Stoudemire's agent Happy Walters addressed how his client's health will affect his minutes with the New York Post's Marc Berman:
The idea of a 20-minute nightly maximum with a prohibition on playing both ends of back-to-backs has been one of the ideas that has been discussed.
“I don’t think anything has been decided,’’ Walters told The Post yesterday. “The doctors are still talking about that. But he’s not going to play a ton of minutes.’’
An extra-cautious approach on Stoudemire to have him on a minutes restriction lower than last season’s was a factor in the Knicks’ willingness to trade for Bargnani, feeling they needed another scoring big man. The Knicks played 18 back-to-backs last season, so that could potentially be 18 games Stoudemire misses. It’s not all that dissimilar to the Spurs’ treatment of the aging Tim Duncan.
That type of treatment has worked out fairly well for Duncan.
Even if Stoudemire is limited to around 20 minutes per outing, he's going to emerge as one of the best per-minute players in basketball.
Plus, karma has to treat him kindly at some point after this last horrific stretch of injuries.