http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/12291689/dallas-mavericks-frontrunners-sign-amare-stoudemire-new-york-knicks-opts-pursue-buyoutThe Dallas Mavericks would be considered front-runners to sign Amar'e Stoudemire if the 13-year veteran opts to pursue a contract buyout from the New York Knicks, according to league sources.
Stoudemire made it clear in his public comments that he's not yet sure if he wants to seek a buyout from the Knicks to join a contender for the stretch run, but sources told ESPN.com that Dallas has quickly emerged as a prime landing spot if he becomes a free agent.
The Mavericks remain keen to sign Stoudemire's fellow former All-Star big man Jermaine O'Neal, sources said, and are prepared to make the needed roster room to accommodate both O'Neal and Stoudemire should they become available.
In the short term, sources said, Dallas is actively searching for a big man worthy of a 10-day contract to bolster its frontcourt while O'Neal continues to try to get himself NBA-ready via private workouts in the Dallas suburb of Southlake. ESPN.com reported last month that the Mavericks were confident they would ultimately fend off interest from the Portland Trail Blazers and other contending teams and win the race to sign O'Neal, but adding the 18-year veteran -- once he fully commits to coming back -- is now expected after the All-Star break.
Stoudemire, who is in the final season of a five-year, $99.7 million contract with the Knicks, told Yahoo! Sports this week that he would spend the All-Star break pondering his future, specifically whether to ask the last-place Knicks for a buyout to give himself an opportunity to join a team in the playoff hunt.
"It's not an easy decision to make," Stoudemire told Yahoo! "Over time, we will see how things pan out. You give yourself a break during the All-Star break. You think about it with your family. ... That will give me a good solid week on how to weigh out the rest of the season."
Meh. I guess a change of scenery would be good for him if the Knicks agree to a buyout. But I don't see him (or O'neal) getting many minutes, especially in the playoffs.