Amar’e Stoudemire has proven he has the skills and personality to help a team this season. It’s time for the Minnesota Timberwolves to give him a chance.
Now that the free agency whirlwind has died down, teams are close to having their rosters solidified for training camp.
The Timberwolves, at least for the most part, know what they have to work with, leaving fans with mixed emotions on how successful they will be this upcoming season.
However, they can make a low risk splash with an unconventional signing by picking up former star Amar’e Stoudemire.
In a surprising revelation, according to TMZ Sports, the 35-year-old All Star announced he is training for an NBA comeback.
After playing for Hapoel Jerusalem of the Israeli Basketball Premier League in the 2016-17 season and joining Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 Big 3 league this past year, Stoudemire has shown that a comeback isn’t out of the question. While earning All-Star honors overseas and helping his team win the Israeli League Championship, Stoudemire has proven that he is healthy and can still perform at the professional level.
While it doesn’t exactly paint a picture of how he would perform in an NBA game this season, the Timberwolves would be smart to give him a shot. Signing Stoudemire would be a low-risk move, getting a player who, throughout his career, has proven he can come back from anything and still perform at a high level.
Due to the wear and tear of his injury plagued 14-year NBA career, Stoudemire won’t bring the same level of star power he used to, and that’s perfectly fine. The Wolves don’t need the old Stoudemire (although we can dream).
In his last season in the NBA, Stoudemire proved he could perform as a solid bench player with the Miami Heat during the 2015-16 season, backing up Hassan Whiteside after having settled in comfortably to close the season in a bench role with the Dallas Mavericks the prior year.
With a veteran’s minimum contract, he would be easy on the cash-strapped Timberwolves and provide the skills that are needed to back up Karl-Anthony Towns.
Additionally, he would be an even better mentor to the entire roster, something they lost with the free agent departure of Jamal Crawford — and especially the young big men, including Towns and rookie Keita Bates-Diop. While every team needs a “locker room guy,” Stoudemire provides All-Star experience, bringing more to the table with his winning history.
He has proven time and again that he is a leader and would be a great source of knowledge, whether it is his experience in how to manage success at an early age or the downsides of injuries and how to rebound from them.
The big man’s resume includes winning Rookie of the Year, playing for one of the best coaches in the game in Mike D’Antoni, winning a Bronze medal in the Olympics, playing overseas and being a six-time NBA All-Star.
No free agent can bring that arsenal to a team at this stage in the NBA offseason.
The opportunity to get a mentor with the background that Stoudemire has is extremely rare and one that the Timberwolves should pounce on while they can. The fact that he can provide both knowledge and skill off the bench at a low cost is ideal for the Wolves. With their hands tied on what they can do to improve their roster before training camp, Stoudemire deserves a shot to get back in the NBA with Minnesota.
It’s time to do something different and make an unconventional splash.