The Dallas Mavericks added Amar’e Stoudemire to their roster Wednesday, this after the 32-year-old forward was bought out by the New York Knicks.
Outside of that, not even Mark Cuban is aware of everything that went down before Thursday’s trade deadline.
“I got traded to Seattle and I’ve been trying to catch my breath and talk to my agent,” the Mavericks owner joked on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “Other than (adding Stoudemire), I haven’t caught up on everything. You look at some of the rosters and the trades that went down and somebody’s got to release somebody unless there’s other deals that we haven’t heard about. So we’re still trying to figure out who gets released, who’s getting bought out, who got traded where. It was a crazy day.”
Dallas (36-19) is the fifth seed in the Western Conference. The Mavericks open the second half of the season Thursday night against the Thunder (28-25) in Oklahoma City.
Stoudemire will not be in action.
“No, he hasn’t played a lot recently, so we’ve got to get him fine-tuned and he’s also got to acclimate himself to what we do,” Cuban said. “We had one practice, but he couldn’t practice with us and so he’s kind of behind the 8-ball in just learning what we do. And there’s no real reason to rush him. I’d love to see a finished-product Amar’e out there, but we’d rather have him ready to go than rush him out there.”
Make no mistake, though. Cuban believes Stoudemire will play a key role for a team trying to get back to the NBA Finals.
“I think he’s going to be a great scorer on the low block for us,” Cuban said. “I think he’ll be great in pick and roll. He was a really deadly 15-foot shooter in the past. I think we can get him back there. I think he’ll help our rebounding, and I think he just wants to get back to winning. Amar’e loves to play basketball. He’s just a unique personality that loves to get in there and fight for wins. He’s shown that. He’s shown his professionalism on a Knicks team that was struggling. But I think he’s going to come in and have a really positive impact for us.”
Although Stoudemire will sit Thursday, Rajon Rondo will be back in action after missing six games with a bone fracture in his face. Rondo has averaged 9.2 points, 6.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds in 21 games with the Mavericks after being acquired in December.
“I was just looking at numbers today,” Cuban said. “The other four guys all showed better numbers with the exception of Tyson Chandler, whose numbers were down a little bit. But with our starting five, (we’ve been) good offensively and much better defensively. It’s really how we’re able to work with our second unit and put together our second-unit rotations.
“When we lost Brandan (Wright) and we lost Jae (Crowder), our second-unit guys just haven’t played as well since then. But now with the addition of Amar’e, now with Charlie (Villanueva), and really, I’ve got to give a lot of praise to Al-Farouq Aminu. He has been a beast. He s really over the past six, seven games, raised his level defensively on the glass. It’s incredible.”
Aminu is averaging 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in February. Cuban said his play has been “All-Star caliber.”
“I know that’s going to sound a little crazy with the guy coming off the bench,” Cuban admitted, “but All-Star players, in my mind, are guys that have an impact on the game. They come in the game and you know they’re in there and you know they’re impacting it. That’s the level we’ve seen from Farouq. That’s why our bench is stating to improve recently.
“Now with Rajon coming back today, with Charlie having emerged some, with Farouq having emerged some, I think we’re going to be in better shape than when Rajon got hurt six, seven games ago.”