The New York Knicks have made some moves this offseason—some questionable and some good—that will either help the team finally advance past the second round, or make them second fiddle in New York.
The Knicks re-signed reigning Sixth Man of the year J.R. Smith, getting back their top scoring option off the bench; they addressed their issue with perimeter defense by recently signing Metta World Peace. They got rid of three-point specialist Steve Novak, and brought in Andrea Bargnani.
So where does this leave Amar’e Stoudemire? Remember him? The guy who made the New York Knicks relevant again just a few years ago?
With World Peace on the roster, that gives the Knicks a formidable starting five: Tyson Chandler at center, Raymond Felton running the point, Iman Shumpert at shooting guard and World Peace playing at small forward, leaving Carmelo Anthony at power forward, a position he thrived in last season.
Each of the moves the Knicks have made has made Stoudemire’s role with the team decrease. By signing Bargnani, the Knicks signed a player similar (not career-wise) to Stoudemire; both have injury issues, and both are limited in the rebounding and defense department. Of course Bargnani was never the star Stoudemire used to be, but the Knicks must have felt that he can contribute the same that Stoudemire can in his limited role.
The signing of Metta World Peace gives the Knicks a swingman, putting Melo at the power forward position, leaving the frontcourt more crowded. The exit of Steve Novak also hurt Stoudemire. Stoudemire thrived when Novak was on the court with him, shooting close to 70 percent from the field when they both shared the floor—up from 55 percent shooting when Novak isn’t on the floor.
The Knicks’ moves shows lack of confidence in Stoudemire and that they don’t know what they’re going to get from the six-time All-Star. Stoudemire’s knees have been an issue for a long time now and the Knicks don’t know how long Stoudemire will last, and if he will be in the way of their success.
When healthy, Stoudemire was productive on offense: Providing solid scoring off the bench and shooting 57 percent from the field, but both his defense and his lack of rebounding really hurt his stock. That combined with his injury history leaves Stoudemire in a bad situation.
Stoudemire’s role with the Knicks is no longer clear, and there is no longer an ideal fit left for the once-adored New York Knick.