The New York Knicks should have a healthier Amar'e Stoudemire on the roster next season, but his days as a legitimate full-time player might be over. The 30-year-old will be working under a minutes restriction next season, coach Mike Woodson confirmed to Mark Berman of the New York Post on Wednesday, leaving as many questions as answers.
For a player who earns nearly $22 million in salary next season, Stoudemire's inability to play even starter's minutes should be unsettling. Beyond the acquisition of Andrea Bargnani from Toronto, the Knicks have been mostly unable to improve their roster this offseason, primarily because of poor investments like Stoudemire.
When able to take the court last season, Stoudemire showed he can still be an effective big man in the NBA, leaving fans hopeful he could be a difference-maker for the Knicks next season. However, that seems highly unlikely if coaches are already lowering expectations by putting a limit on his playing time.
In 29 games last season, Stoudemire averaged 14.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in just 23.5 minutes per contest. His efficiency was superb -- 58 percent shooting from the field, 22.1 PER -- so the Knicks presumably hope he can continue to be a hyper-efficient player in fewer minutes next season.