By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer
It’s hardly a secret that Dallas’ frontcourt has been glaringly thin since the Mavs were forced to send away backup center, and pogo-stick extraordinare, Brandan Wright in the Rajon Rondo deal back in mid-December. What’s even less of a secret is Dallas’ once highly efficient bench became an inconsistent, unreliable mess due to the lethal dynamic of Wright’s outragious scoring efficiency, athleticism and general production.
For several months the word was that Mark Cuban’s plan to fill this void would be through the addition of head coach Rick Carlisle’s former Indiana star, Jermaine O’Neal. Unfortunately that never happened. O’Neal had said all along that he planned to return this season after the new year, but when a trip to Germany for some unique treatment on his knees didn’t yield the desired results, the 36 year old attempting to play in his 18th season was forced to forfeit this season entirely.
Thankfully for Dallas, another unique opportunity has fallen into their lap. After months of speculation, the New York Knicks have officially bought out the final year of Amar’e Stoudemire’s five-year, $99.4 million contract from 2010. Stoudemire, being a 6’10 forward/center, is hardly the player he was five years ago when he first signed with the Knicks. Once a 25 PPG and 12 rebound machine, the six-time All Star has seen his career derailed by a number of knee and back issues over the past few seasons. This season, Stoudemire has played in just 36 games for the NBA worst Knicks, averaging 12 points and just a shade under seven rebounds in 24 minutes a night. To say this would be an upgrade for Dallas’ bench would be a massive understatement. [Read more…]