Nets FA Targets: Amare Stoudemire

Amare Stoudemire

Age: 27

Height: 6-10

Position: PF

Key 2009-10 Stats: 23.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg, 22.69 PER

What to Like About Stoudemire: Simply put, Stoudemire is an offensive beast and would fill two critical holes for the New Jersey Nets: scoring and stability at Power Forward.  With his various injuries over the years (microfracture on his knee and retina surgery for his eyes), Stoudemire’s demise has been long projected and proven to be greatly exaggerated. His Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 22.69 last year was fourth best among qualifying power forwards and 11th best in the entire NBA. He’s an outstanding finisher around the rim, shooting 67 percent from up close last season according to Hoopdata. He’s not too shabby away from the rim either, shooting 54 percent from 10-feet and in, 44 percent from 10-15 feet and 42 percent from 16-23 feet, all amongst the top percentages for a PF. And for someone who is so effective at the rim, his 77 percent from the free throw line last season is good enough. The presence of Stoudemire helped turn Robin Lopez, Phoenix’s Center, into an effective player in the middle. Imagine what it would mean for Brook Lopez, the superior twin in the family. Finally, you also have to like his performance in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Lakers – a must win for the Suns: 42 points on 14-22 shooting.

What’s Not to Like about Stoudemire: The rebounding numbers for a player of his size and strength have to alarm even the biggest Amare supporters. His rebounding rate of 14.5 percent ranks him 31st amongst Power Forwards, which is middling. Considering how desperately the Nets are looking for a big-time rebounder to complement Brook Lopez in the frontcourt, I can understand the organization having some reservations here.  In companion with his rebound is his defense. The Suns gave up 3.3 less points per 100 possessions when Stoudemire was off-court.  And while Stoudemire’s performance more than off-sets it, he does allow opposing PFs to “go off.” Opposing PFs put up a PER of 18.8 when Stoudemire was on the court. Also, if you’re a teammate of Stoudemire’s, you probably shouldn’t expect to see the ball much. His assist ratio of 4.5 ranks him second-to-last among all PFs while his usage rate of 24.4 ranks him third at PF. Finally, while Stoudemire has done a good job so far coming back from injuries, at 27 years-old, you have to wonder where his knees will be by the end of a long-term, max-level contract.

Around the web on Stoudemire: Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News: Stoudemire can get more money from Phoenix, but the Suns reportedly were going to offer him only a three-year deal on July 1. That surely would have been taken by Stoudemire as an insult, and he would have been right. The Nets were once convinced they couldn’t get Stoudemire. But in the last few weeks Steve Kerr has stepped down as GM and his right-hand man, David Griffin, left over the fact that he was not going to slide into Kerr’s seat, after 17 years with the team.

This Bloggers Take: The length and the money of Amare’s expected contract scare the bejeezus out of me, but there’s no denying that he’s a special talent who would help the Nets have, one of the best 1-2 big-man punches in the NBA if he came to Jersey. Stoudemire has also been very open about playing in Jersey, even when the Nets were at their worst earlier this year. He’s been a target for Rod Thorn for a few years now, and I could very easily see him in a Nets uniform this coming year. I just have my doubts about what kind of value he’ll have the last 2-3 years of his contract.