The New York Knicks haven't won a championship in over 40 years. Although they need a winning roster, they don't like the idea of putting Amar'e Stoudemire on the trading block to achieve that goal.
Rumors of a potential Stoudemire trade have been swirling in the first place due to the fact that he will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 13-year career after this season. According to Raul Barrigon of USA Today Sports, Stoudemire hasn't really thought what he would do when the season ends.
"It's something that I haven't thought so much about," Stoudemire said to Barrigon. "I mean I know that decision is very important for the Knicks and we're trying to do something special here. We're trying to really make this playoff push and once we get there we kind of can go from there and see if we can contend for the ultimate goal... So that's my main focus right now."
Stoudemire added that he wanted to "really get better as a player" by learning the triangle offense along with improving defensive and rebounding rates before becoming a free agent.
Josh Cohen of Bleacher Report noted that trading Stoudemire would not benefit the Knicks' goals both short-term and long-term. He argued that the Knickerbockers have a zero percent chance of getting anyone valuable in exchange for their player.
"With his decimated knees and bloated price tag, Stoudemire, now in the final year of a deal signed back in the summer of 2010, has only now become even remotely movable," Cohen wrote. "And even then, any interested trade partner would have to be able to afford the $23.4 million remaining on his expiring contract."
According to Joseph Crevier of Rant Sports, Stoudemire originally made a name for himself when he played for the Phoenix Suns alongside Steve Nash, averaging an incredible 21.4 points and 8.9 rebounds per game while in relatively good health. However, when he decided to move to New York on a five-year, $100 million contract with the Knicks back in 2010, Stoudemire missed 89 games due to various knee injuries and a bulging disk in his back.
Despite those health problems and a ginormous $23.4 million salary, Crevier believed that the Knicks should still keep Stoudemire on its roster because he can still contribute to their gameplay.
"He is averaging an acceptable 11.3 points and 8.5 rebounds per game primarily off the bench, which are solid numbers for a role player," Crevier wrote. "If that colossal salary was not linked to Stoudemire, teams would be salivating over adding him to the roster for front court depth."
While waiting for whatever the Knicks decide to do with him, Stoudemire has one big goal to accomplish in his storied basketball career.
"I think the next phase in my career is to win a championship," Stoudemire said. "So I want to do whatever I can from a basketball standpoint to improve as a player, to get better on both ends of the basketball court, to be an intricate part to a championship-caliber team."
Stoudemire added that although getting the chance to play seven more seasons "would be really a great blessing," he stated that he's just taking it "one year at a time."