When the New York Knicks struck out on a few of their top targets in free agency a few years ago, they signed Amar’e Stoudemire. With Mike D’Antoni as coach, Stoudemire led a fun Knicks team that surprised many with their success. After the Knicks gutted their roster for Carmelo Anthony, things changed just a bit.
Amar’e has since struggled with health problems, but he’s found a way to be fairly productive this season. He’s certainly not the athletic freak that he once was, but give him credit for transforming his game. The Knicks haven’t had a ton of positives this year, but watching Amar’e produce offensively has been nice.
Stoudemire will be on the last year of his deal next season, and he will earn over $23 million. He will then be a free agent, and there’s a very good chance he won’t stay in New York. As a matter of fact, Amar’e could even end up in Israel. Via the NY Post:
Amar’e Stoudemire might say “Shalom’’ to the NBA and play for his Israeli team in Jerusalem after his contract expires after next season, The Post has learned.
Stoudemire is part of a four-man ownership group, including superagent Arn Tellem, that purchased 60 percent of Hapoel Jerusalem last summer and turned the franchise into the top team in the Israeli league at 20-7.
This would be an interesting change of pace for Amar’e, who has publicly acknowledged his Jewish roots in the past.
All of this being said, it’d be tough for Amar’e to turn down an NBA contract with a contender if he can remain productive. At the right salary, being able to go to Amar’e in the post off the bench would be huge for a title contender.