Free Agent Playbook, Part 3: Amar’e Stoudemire

Posted: June 30, 2010 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NBA
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The NBA free agent frenzy is at a all-time high. Everywhere there are different “insiders with knowledge of the situation” saying where Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and another certain reigning MVP from Cleveland, will land. Come Thursday at midnight, the rumor mill will push to another level all the way to the July 8th signing date begins.

There are so many different scenarios that have been placed into the mix at this point that it gets made to be a foregone conclusion on some players intentions. I’m looking at it from a totally open perspective from the information available from financial perspectives and player intent. For the next few days leading into the July 1 cutting of the ribbon for the free agent race, I will be breaking down individual players roles from THE CHEAP SEATS, continuing with a dynamic scorer that is a definite push to high scoring nights….

Amar’e Stoudemire

The Basics: Power Forward, 27 years old, 6’10, 250 lbs

The Numbers: 23.1 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1 BPG (2010); 21.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 1.4 BPG (Career); 5 time All-Star, 2003 Rookie of the year

At 6'10, few players possess Stoudemire's athletic or scoring abilities.

Summary: Stoudemire is one of the most front court scorers in basketball. He has developed a different attack since he returned from micro-fracture knee surgery a few years back. Before the injury, he lived above the rim and was one of the premier high-flying big men in the NBA. Now he has regained most of that ability again, but has retained expanded his game with an improved shot he used while rehabbed. He makes usage of most short face up penetration moves and second chance points, but has some post moves to add in as well. While blocking some shots, Stoudemire is a sub par defender and other forwards and centers can take advantage of this as well. He will rebound consistently, but huge rebounding nights are also much rarer than big scoring nights.

Best suited for…..a fast moving, motion based team. For his entire career, Stoudemire has played in an offensive scheme where the mission has been to outscore the opponent and do it quickly. To maximize on Stoudemire’s main ability to get to the basket, his next destination should have the ability to do this. He also is very effective in the pick and roll, and capitalizes on easy baskets that way by using his still considerable athletic ability to out jump the transitioning defense off the pick. It is critical that there are other defenders available along the frontline as well, because he usually tries put up more points than his matchup over stopping them on defense.

Prime Candidates: Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Phoenix Suns

Miami Heat: This situation works if Miami adds more interior presence. The Heat already has a player that is similar to Stoudemire’s makeup in Michael Beasley in their frontcourt already. This could be a defensive nightmare, but the Heat could score 100 plus nightly (and may need to). It would make them a formidable matchup on offense for any team in the NBA when matched nightly with Dwyane Wade and Beasley, but they would have to make more additions to make this pairing work. Stoudemire is from the Florida area and this could be his preferred endpoint and if Miami misses out on Chris Bosh, he would be neck and neck with Carlos Boozer to join Wade.

New York Knicks: The Knicks present a familiar situation for Stoudemire, as Mike D’Antoni knows how to best utilize his talents, due to their time in Phoenix together. New York is essentially rebuilding their entire structure and could start with adding him to the mix. If David Lee is added to the mix again, his energy and rebounding prowess would offset Stoudemire well, but neither is equipped to play center full-time on defense and that could hold back the Knicks as well. He wouldn’t be the one pick fix, but could play a big role if other moves are made around him.

New Jersey Nets: New Jersey would be a place where he could definitely find a fit. They need more of a scoring punch and are looking to let recently drafted power forward Derrick Favors start on the bench and grow. With new owner Mikhail Prokhovov’s pledge to be in the Playoffs within five years, he may be willing to spend more to continue to make splashes to reach that goal before that deadline, which could land Stoudemire’s services quickly. Similar to the Bulls pieces, Brook Lopez and Devin Harris can run the floor and create the openings Stoudemire needs to operate.

Chicago Bulls: The Bulls are a great matchup for Stoudemire, with an on-court few pieces that would allow him to truly play his game. Derrick Rose is a high energy guard that is emerging as a premier guard and Joakim Noah is a rebounding and shot blocking machine. The issue here would be new coach Tom Thibodeau, who is an advocate of using defense to create offense. It would serve the Bulls to consider the matchup, as they have no interior scoring presence currently and he would be an automatic fix that could push the team past the first round of the Playoffs finally.

Once the smoke clears, Amar'e will be able to name his price.

Phoenix Suns: A return to the incumbent is not out of the question. The Suns have a solid core that made a deep playoff run and already are familiar to him. They can bring him back into the fold financially, but there could be a movement to change the structure of the Suns and prepare for the end of the Steve Nash era, which is approaching soon, so a rebuilding effort may be underway there soon. Also, the Suns have entertained seemingly yearly offers to move Stoudemire, and that may be enough of an ego bruise for him to not look back to Phoenix, unless nothing else materializes.

Mr. Stoudemire could stand to benefit more from waiting than any other player in the pool. Many more teams will be willing to pay a max contract to Stoudemire and ignore his one-dimensional attack once the top-tier power forward Chris Bosh is committed somewhere. He will immediately upgrade the potency of any team’s scoring punch and could be the go-to scorer most teams in the market lack.

Next: Dwyane Wade

  1. Free Agent Playbook, Part 3: Amar'e Stoudemire « Cheap.Seats.Please….

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

  2. Brit says:

    Nice! I hope Amare stays in Phoenix, though. I think Alvin Gentry is showing that he can be an effective head coach. I like his chemistry w/ Steve, too.

  3. Thanks for stopping by. Amar’e actually works great in Phoenix, but I think his days are done there. There so much money for him on East Coast it seems like he’s gonna cash in out there. Maybe he finds his way back to the Suns, but it seems like he’s done everything he can do there to still not have won.

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