NBA Free Agency: Clippers interested in Amar’e Stoudemire


Apr 2, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Amar

The looming issue surrounding the Los Angeles Clippers’ frontcourt is obviously the matter of needing to re-sign DeAndre Jordan. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, the chance of Jordan staying with the Clippers or going to the Dallas Mavericks is basically “50/50”. So despite the fact that the Clippers organisation and fans everywhere are on a momentary high since signing Paul Pierce, the fear of losing Jordan is still very much alive.

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If we put the DeAndre-drama aside for a minute, though, we can look at how the Clippers may address the issue of their backup big men. Since Spencer Hawes left with Matt Barnes, to be traded for Lance Stephenson, the Clippers are left with few options in their frontcourt rotation to support Blake Griffin and Jordan (so long as he stays). They’ll most likely try and keep Glen Davis in place by re-signing him on a low contract, and they’ve added a defensive specialist in the form of the fiery athlete that is Branden Dawson in the 2015 NBA draft. But that’s pretty much it in terms of role players who can contribute.

That leaves the Clippers needing to look into their free agent options to add someone else for the smallest amount possible (when considering their very limited cap space, that means signing someone to a veterans minimum). The potential targets that they’ve already been associated with include Lavoy Allen, Darrell Arthur and Carlos Boozer, but now Chris Broussard of ESPN has added another name to the list: Amar’e Stoudemire.

The level of interest is by no means clear, and he’s not exactly the player he once was during his Phoenix Suns days with Steve Nash, yet Stoudemire is still worthy of some attention. Especially as the Mavericks were able to sign him this February for only $485,670.

In just 16.5 minutes per game with Dallas this year, Stoudemire averaged 10.8 points on 58.1 percent shooting and 3.7 rebounds. And whilst he may have only played in 23 games with the Mavericks, he still arrived and made a difference. As per 36 minutes, Amar’e averaged 8 rebounds and 23.5 points (which is the best mark he’s recorded in five years).

Mar 24, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) guards Dallas Mavericks center Amar

During his brief stint with the Mavericks so far, Stoudemire shot well from mid range (shooting 55.8 percent from 3-10 feet and 46.2 percent from 10-16 feet) and displayed his strong finishing at the rim whenever he got the opportunity as well, with his highly efficient shooting percentage of 72.5 from within three feet. So, despite the fact he can’t soar to the rim with the wizardry of Nash’s pick-and-rolls anymore, Stoudemire can still provide some decent offense — either by cutting to the rim or with his jump shot.

Similarly to Carlos Boozer, Stoudemire isn’t a reliable defender or rim protector anymore. He only averaged 0.4 blocks per 36 minutes and surrendered a very generous field goal percentage of 59.6 to opponents at the rim.

That’s not what the Clippers need after ranking just 15th in defensive efficiency this year. But in comparison to someone such as Boozer, Allen or Arthur, it’s surprising how interesting Stoudemire could be as a potential backup big man for the Clippers. He can provide some extra offensive punch, but he’s by no means the player he once was.

At 32 years of age, and being on the wrong end of several injuries, Stoudemire isn’t the best player the Clippers could go after to build a championship team for years to come. That being said, their time has come to finally be a threat deep into the playoffs, and Amar’e still proved (no matter how briefly with the Mavericks this year) that he can contribute as a scorer. At least more so than Big Baby can. That alone makes him worthy of a little attention.

Next: Could Gerald Green be a great signing for the Clippers?