- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Amare Stoudemire’s debut with the Dallas Mavericks will have to wait a few days.

President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said Thursday the newly signed forward would probably play Sunday against Charlotte. That means he will miss the Mavericks’ return from the All-Star break Thursday night at Oklahoma City and a home game a night later against Houston.

“With Stoudemire being new, it’s two or three days of getting him acclimated and maybe retooling things just a bit,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said before the Oklahoma City game. “It goes by fast, then you get there and you get in the games, and before you know it, you’ve played a lot of games.”

Stoudemire signed with the Mavericks on Wednesday, two days after agreeing to a buyout of the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks. He made the trip to Oklahoma City and was on the court for Thursday morning’s shootaround. Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Stoudemire is a good addition for the Mavericks.

“He brings toughness, he brings a guy that can score,” Brooks said. “He can hit the mid-range shot, he can pick-and-pop, he can pick-and-roll. His low-post game has improved over the years. It gives them experience, and it gives them another big body that they can throw out there.”

Nelson said there weren’t any health issues with Stoudemire, who missed significant time during five seasons in New York with a variety of injuries. But he said the decision to delay his debut came after the 32-year-old spent some time with the medical and training staff.

“He needs to get his legs under him a little bit, get comfortable with the system,” Nelson said in Dallas a few minutes after the trade deadline passed without any deals involving the Mavericks. “It’s not something that we want to rush, given where we want to go in the playoffs.”

Stoudemire will back up center Tyson Chandler and forward Dirk Nowitzki, restoring some depth Dallas lost by sending Brandan Wright to Boston in the trade that brought point guard Rajon Rondo. Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star, signed for the veteran minimum.

“He adds a dimension that we currently don’t have in our front line and certainly solidifies physicality, and that’s important come playoff time,” Nelson said. “He knows how to win playoff games.”

Rondo was expected to start against the Thunder after missing the last six games before the break with a broken bone near his left eye. Chandler also planned to play after spraining his ankle in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers and missing the last game before the break against Utah.

Carlisle said he doesn’t see a problem with so many players being thrown into the mix at the same time. He said their talent level will allow them to adjust quickly.

“Depends on how good the players are,” he said. “We’re talking about good players here, really good players, so it shortens the time.”


AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas contributed to this report.

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