Mavs Exclusive: Amare Connection 'If Healthy'

Mark Cuban's original reading of the new 2011 CBA caused him to predict a 'nuclear winter' that would see big-name, big-money players becoming available. The Mavs could never say the name 'Amare Stoudemire' as an example then. But now? DB.com has the scoop on what the Mavs will say if Stoudemire gets a Knicks buyout.



The Dallas Mavericks are absolutely in the market for big-man help. That's been clearly established with their interest in Jermaine O'Neal, who they think will be an ideal fit. It's clear with DB.com's exclusive on their exploration of Andray Blatche, who is ... well, less than ideal.

And with Yahoo's story on Amar'e Stoudemire contemplating whether to ask the Knicks for a post-All-Star-Break contract buyout that could free him to potentially sign with a playoff contender. ... it's clear once again.

Stoudemire is in the final year of a five-year, $100-million contract and is making $23.4 million this season. Ideally for the Knicks, they would trade him before the Feb. 19 deadline. But that contract makes a deal highly unlikely ... and reminds me of when Mavs owner Mark Cuban predicted a "nuclear winter'' in the wake of the 2011 CBA.

He didn't use Stoudemire as an example. But in conversation with Cuban about what "nuclear winter'' might mean, I used Stoudemire as an example. ... and the owner didn't exactly argue with me, if you know what I mean.

It's taken some time for Cuban's prediction to come true. But "nuclear winter'' is so in play with the Knicks that they've already essentially "given'' Tyson Chandler to Dallas. Nuclear winter will be in play again with other guys who get their buyouts from teams this spring. And if nuclear winter puts Stoudemire out in the cold?

Sources tell DB.com that pending "checking out his health,'' the Mavs will be interested.

First things first, though, and that means Stoudemire must make his decision and then get the Knicks to go along with it.

"All possibilities at this point are still open," Stoudemire told Yahoo said of a possible buyout. "The door is still open for that. But at the same time, I am with the Knicks now. I got to stay optimistic about things and what we are doing here. I can't really focus on the future because it's not here.''

Yahoo reports, "the Knicks ... are more focused at this point on negotiating a buyout with forward Andrea Bargnani than Stoudemire.'' But that's not an either/or decision. New York can dump both guys as they struggle through yet another rebuilding year.

For Dallas, the decision is all about Stoudemire's health. Once one of the brightest stars in the game, the 13-year veteran has an ankle problem now and a knee problem from earlier this year and has played in just 32 of New York's games. At 32, he averaging 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 24.5 minutes. A decade ago he was a 26/9 guy in Phoenix. The 6-10, 245-pounder's career numbers include 20.1 points and 8.2 per.

Smile

He recently told the New York Post that he looks forward to returning to his "dominant self.'' That seems unlikely. But seeing if he's healthy enough to come in from the cold "nuclear winter''? It's just been added to the Mavs' to-do list.



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