NBA free agency: 30 greatest free agent signings in NBA history

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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NBA Free Agency
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Greatest free agency signings in NBA history: 24. Amar’e Stoudemire- New York Knicks, 2010

Quick question: what happens if you’re an executive for the New York Knicks and you come up short in the LeBron James sweepstakes? If you answered “overspend on an aging, injury-prone star”, then congratulations. Your prize is the knowledge that the Knicks are a garbage organization.

To be fair to them, the Amar’e Stoudemire seemed like a success at the start. Through the first 53 games of his Knicks career, he averaged 26.1 points and 8.6 boards on 50.7 percent shooting. Stoudemire thrived as Raymond Felton’s pick-and-roll dance partner running a version of Mike D’Antoni’s “seven seconds or less” offense.

Then, the Knicks traded for Carmelo Anthony. Again, to be fair to them, it was a move that any team would make at the time — Anthony was a bonafide star and players of his skill level don’t come around often.

However, it didn’t take a genius to figure out how a potential Anthony/Stoudemire pairing would struggle to mesh. See, even at his healthiest, Stoudemire was at his best rolling to the rim and finishing at the basket. Basically, he needed a guard who could and would feed him the rock.

Anthony, well, wasn’t that type of player. Instead of getting other teammates involved, Melo preferred to isolate and grind possessions to a halt. Add this to Stoudemire’s deteriorating health led to Stoudemire’s role on the team shrinking with each passing year. He was still fairly productive — as his .138 WS/48 in his final four seasons in New York suggest — but he wasn’t the gamechanger New Yorkers thought he would be. To be fair, no one really is when it comes to the Knicks.