Stoudemire is a big get for Knicks

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Here's what's happening this Tuesday in The Morning Percolator...

…The New York Knicks finally landed their big-name free agent. And his name isn’t LeBron James.

So should Spike Lee and Co. be upset?

I say absolutely not.

What the Knicks get in Amare Stoudemire is a building block for the future — a piece that shows other free agents that the Knicks may no longer be a laughingstock of a franchise. Even if Tony Parker and Carmelo Anthony don’t join Stoudemire after next season when they hit the open market, the Knicks will have the cap space to add another impact player when Eddy Curry’s contract expires.

Most important, however, is how the next 24-48 hours plays out. Or, more likely, how the next week or so transpires, as no one really else seems in any hurry to make a decision on a destination.

But at least the Knicks give James and Dwayne Wade something else to think about with this addition.

A more likely next step for the Knicks, however, is a defensive stalwart in the middle to help out the defensive shortcomings of Stoudemire. Perhaps center Brendan Haywood, who wants to return to the Eastern Conference. For more stability at the guard position, maybe the solid but unspectacular Luke Ridnour could be in play.

Nonetheless, the Knicks may actually not be atrocious in 2010-11.

David Lee is likely gone, as hanging onto him wouldn’t make sense with Stoudemire in the fold. But a sign-and-trade could now get done, either to net a solid guard or future draft picks as to stay under the cap for this year and next.

No matter which way the Knicks now go, Monday’s agreement on a five-year, $99.74 million deal with the former Phoenix Sun stabilizes a club that looked forward to this market the last two years — sacrificing playoff possibilities along the way. Despite the microfracture surgery and the risk of re-injuring his eye, Stoudemire having the opportunity to rejoin head coach Mike D'Antoni's system was the best thing that could have happened to the former Sun — besides re-signing with Phoenix.

And it was a big step — LeBron or no LeBron — for a struggling franchise.

…The JaMarcus Russell story is starting to get really sad these days, as the former Oakland Raiders starting quarterback was arrested Monday for possession of a controlled substance. The former top overall pick was arrested at his home for possessing codeine syrup during an undercover investigation. The former LSU Tiger was set free on $2,500 bail, and he is scheduled for a Wednesday bond hearing and a July 20 court date. Suddenly, being a bad football player is the least of J-Roc’s concerns.

…Did anyone see WWE Raw last night? I must admit that I think the Nexus storyline is starting to lose a little bit of steam, likely because of Michael Cole’s role and the awful idea of having an anonymous general manager communicate via email. But John Cena’s psychotic segment with Darren Young to end the show was pretty great. Cena is scheduled to face all seven members of Nexus — well, maybe six with Young potentially sidelined after tonight — next week on Raw.

Follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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