When New York's star power forward Amar'e Stoudemire proclaimed, "The Knicks are back," he was making a pretty bold statement, but he meant it.
Although Carmelo Anthony has claimed a good deal of the spotlight, Amar'e Stoudemire is still the Knicks' captain and has been referred to as the Knicks' ambassador to the league.
And yet somehow, there are already rumblings about STAT being traded during the upcoming season.
Yes, these rumblings do concern the "Man Child", Dwight Howard. But for more than half the season, Amar'e Stoudemire nearly single-handedly pulled the Knicks out of the ashes and transformed them from a laughingstock into a Phoenix.
With Dwight Howard's contract with the Magic set to expire after the upcoming season, it is plausible that the Magic will look to trade him so they can get some value in return as opposed to letting him walk.
The reason that these rumors are about Stoudemire is because save Carmelo Anthony, STAT's the Knicks best trading-chip.
Howard is young, healthy and the best big-man in the Association.
If the Knicks do poorly in the playoffs the impatient Knicks fan base will not be happy, and the Knicks may look to appease them by making another huge roster move. Plus, Amar'e may be the best player offered to the Magic.
If Amar'e wants to stick around, the Knicks need to be competitive in the playoffs.