New York Knicks power forward Amar'e Stoudemire told Yahoo Sports that he plans to use the All-Star break to decide whether to ask the team for a contract buyout, which could free him to sign with a team headed to the playoffs.
The NBA’s trade deadline is Feb. 19 and a trade for Stoudemire’s $23.4 million contract appears unlikely. He is in the final year of a five-year, $99.7 million deal he signed in 2010 after spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Phoenix Suns.
"It's not an easy decision to make," Stoudemire said. "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."
Stoudemire said he will make the decision about what to do after consulting with his family.
"My heart always lies with the Knicks," Stoudemire said. "My loyalty is with [Knicks owner] Mr. [Jim] Dolan. I feel like New York is my home now. I feel like I'm a New Yorker for sure.”
A separate report said that if Stoudemire asks for a buyout, the Dallas Mavericks would be considered front-runners to sign him.
Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star, is averaging 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds in 32 games this season. He has missed the last four games because of an ankle injury.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Knicks are more focused on a buyout for forward Andrea Bargnani, who has played in just two games this season.
The Knicks have long been out of playoff contention and go into Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets with a 10-39 record, the worst in the Eastern Conference.
- Scooby Axson