Mavs + Amare: How Tentative Deal Helps
Amar'e Stoudemire is a six-time All-Star and those days of scoring 24 points and pulling down 10 rebounds per a decade ago will make for some impressive highlight-film stuff. But the Dallas Mavericks aren't counting on the Amar'e from a decade ago; his knees and ankles and 13 years of NBA wear-and-tear have changed all that.
They need a 4/5 who is better than Dwight Powell and Greg Smith. That's a modest goal ... and they are about to achieve it.
Is it done? 'Not yet,' a high-placed Mavs source tells DB.com late Monday. But we're close, and one of the reasons it's "not yet'' is because it cannot be.
As always, starting from the time last week we broke the story of Dallas' interest in Amare, we reserved our enthusiasm regarding the Mavs as a "frontrunner'' to sign Stoudemire when he reached a buyout from the Knicks; hell, weren't they a "frontrunner'' to sign Jermaine O'Neal, who is now opting to remain on the couch in Southlake? But we share Dallas' excitement over this tentative "get'' not because this is the All-Star Amar'e but because at 32, he can fill the void left by 4/5 Brandan Wright, the efficient offensive weapon who departed in the Rondo trade.
It is true that Stoudemire (photo credit above to MavsFanatic) has agreed to come to Dallas. It cannot be official until 4 p.m. Wednesday when he's cleared waivers. At that time the Mavs will fit him for a uniform and quite possibly ask him to contribute on Thursday in Dallas' post-All-Star-Break debut at OKC.
And what will the Mavs get? The Knicks version of Stoudemire (if healthy) will have to do. That's 12 points and seven rebounds in 24 minutes a night. ... substantially better than Powell, Smith and 10-day guy Bernard James.
It can be argued that Stoudemire's real role here is to replicate Wright. As Dirk said, he's a rangy scorer out to 16 feet and has great skills as a pick-and-roller and finisher (though no longer a leaper). As the Mavs know, he's a rebounder who would join Aminu as the second-best Mav in that category. And they've done their homework here on his character (Tyson Chandler with a seeming endorsement) and, as best they can, on his medical issues. (Worth noting: During Stoudemire’s five years in New York, he missed 95 regular-season games and nine playoff games due to injury. But in Dallas, he'll be reunited with Casey Smith, who was on the Phoenix training staff when Amar'e was with the Suns. This was, we're sure, a selling point to the player.)
Dallas' bench -- an area of weakness with Wright gone -- suddenly looks dynamic, with Devin Harris being joined by Stoudemire and Aminu.
This deal will be done on Wednesday. The search for help will continue even beyond Thursday's trade deadline. How it all comes together for the Mavs? The needs are there. The homework is done. The medical hope remains.
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