« Heat 10 p.m. free agent update; Heat's moves leave them considerable flexibility for 2016: Exploring the options; News on Jarvis Landry, Marlins trade talk & UM roster move | Main | Amar'e's agent explains why he picked Heat; On Greg Jennings and how he compares with Hartline; WQAM goes on road »

Details on Heat's signing of Amar'e Stoudemire and Marcus Thornton meeting

Veteran Amar’e Stoudemire agreed to a one-year contract with the Heat on Friday for the $1.5 million veteran's minimum, strengthening the team’s power rotation behind starters Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside. 

Stoudemire, who has appeared in six All-Star games (the most recent in 2011), remains an effective post presence. He averaged 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds and shot 55.7 percent from the field in 36 games for the Knicks and 23 for Dallas last season.

He started 14 games for New York before negotiating a buyout, then made one start for the Mavericks.

"We are very fortunate that a proven All-Star like Amar’e has chosen the Miami Heat,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “He is going to bring gravitas, leadership and a hardworking mentality to our team as we look to win another championship in Miami.”

Like Stoudemire, guard Marcus Thornton also visited Heat today. He did not receive an offer, but the door was not closed to an offer at some point. "Marcus was happy with the visit and appreciative," said his agent, Tony Dutt. "We'll see where it leads. We're anxious to see what the next step is."

Though it was hardly an afterthought, the Heat also formally announced the re-signing of Dwyane Wade to a one-year deal.

The Heat had targeted Thornton, telling him earlier this week what his role on the team would be, before Gerald Green surprisingly accepted the veteran's minimum.

"For over a decade, Dwyane has embodied what it means to wear the Miami Heat uniform," Riley said. "He has been the pillar and constant of this organization and is a true champion in every sense of the world. We are thrilled that Dwyane has re-signed and will us as we look to win another NBA championship." 

The addition of the 6-10 Stoudemire could be the precursor to a trade involving Chris Andersen or Josh McRoberts. The Heat has been looking to trim payroll to lessen its luxury tax obligation.

Stoudemire was willing to take the minimum partly because he already has made $166 million in his career and partly because he likes the idea of playing for the Heat and living in South Florida, where he has a home.

Stoudemire, 32, played the first eight seasons of his career with the Phoenix Suns before moving to the Knicks for the next 4 ½. His career averages: 19.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 53.6 percent shooting.

Born in Lake Wales, Stoudemire initially envisioned becoming a star receiver for UM, UF or FSU. He didn’t start playing organized basketball until he was 14 but became nation’s No. 1 prep prospect in 2002.

He opted to turn pro instead of enrolling at Memphis and was drafted ninth overall by Phoenix.

After five All-Star appearances in eight seasons with the Suns, he signed a five-year, $100 million contract with the Knicks in 2010 and was an All-Star his first season there.

But he missed substantial time because of injuries (knee, back) during the past four seasons. Stoudemire played in 29, 65 and 59 games the past three seasons.

Stoudemire has one particularly painful AmericanAirlines Arena memory:  After a loss in Game 2 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals, Stoudemire sustained a cut to his left hand, requiring stitches, after punching a fire extinguisher box in the visitors' locker room.  

Stoudemire returned for Game 4 and had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a Knicks victory. But after Stoudemire fouled out in Miami’s series-clinching win in Game 5, Heat public address announcer Michael Baiamonte announced Stoudemire had been “extinguished.” The Heat later issued an apology to Stoudemire.

Stoudemire has diverse interests. He has made guest appearances on several TV shows --- including Law & Order: SVUEntourage, the Mindy Project and Sesame Street --- and also appeared in films (McGruber, New Years Eve.)

Stoudemire started his own clothing line that launched at Macy's in late 2011 and has his own record label, Hypocalypto.

In the summer of 2013, Stoudemire became a major shareholder of Hapoel Jerusalem Basketball club.

Stoudemire told The Jerusalem Post in 2010 that “I am proud to be a Hebrew and embrace my Jewish background,.I have been aware since my youth that I am Hebrew through my mother, and that is something that has played a subtle but important role in my development. I don’t really consider myself to be a religious person, but rather a deeply spiritual individual.”

Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments