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New York Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire has revealed that he is considering his future and will potentially go ahead with a buy-out of his contract.
The Knicks have reportedly already had internal discussions about a possible buy-out but they have not yet approached Stoudemire about it, according to ESPN sources.
“It’s not an easy decision to make,” Stoudemire told Yahoo! Sports. “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.”
“I haven’t talked with Phil [Jackson] or [GM] Steve Mills yet about the future. I’m sure we’ll have a conversation soon about it.”
The 32-year-old is in the final year of his contract and the Knicks have endured a miserable season in which they have slumped to 10-39.
A buy-out would allow Stoudemire to sign with a playoff contender, although injuries have limited him again this season and so it remains to be seen how much interest there would be in his services.
“All possibilities at this point are still open,” Stoudemire told Yahoo! Sports of a possible buyout. “The door is still open for that. But at the same time, I am with the Knicks now. I got to stay optimistic about things and what we are doing here. I can’t really focus on the future because it’s not here.
“We still have a couple weeks left before it’s all said and done. It’s a decision I have to make with my family to figure out the best scenario for the near future.”
Stoudemire signed a $99.7m deal over five years with the Knicks back in 2010, but his salary this season will make him an unattractive trade prospect.
The Knicks haven’t enjoyed the success that they envisioned when they brought him to the franchise along with Carmelo Anthony, and team president Phil Jackson is in the process of rebuilding the roster and is still looking to shed salary off the books after trading the both JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers last month.
Stoudemire is averaging 12.2 points and 7.0 rebounds per game this season compared to career numbers of 20.1 points and 8.2 rebounds over the course of his 13 seasons in the league, and so it remains to be seen where he goes from here.