Amar'e Stoudemire joins Mavs

DALLAS -- Amar'e Stoudemire is officially a member of the Dallas Mavericks.

Stoudemire, the 13-year veteran center/forward who reached a buyout agreement with the New York Knicks during All-Star weekend, signed with the Mavs as soon as he cleared waivers at 5 p.m. ET Wednesday.

"I'm excited to be a part of a first-class organization," Stoudemire said in a statement released by the team. "To play alongside Dirk Nowitzki, Tyson Chandler and other great players, I think it's a tremendous opportunity for me to compete for a championship." Stoudemire joined the Mavs on their flight to Oklahoma City on Wednesday afternoon, will participate in the morning shootaround with his new teammates and will come off the Dallas bench in Thursday night's game against the Thunder.

Stoudemire, 32, who was making $23.4 million in the final season of a five-year, $99.7 million deal, requested a buyout from the last-place Knicks because he wanted the opportunity to join a playoff contender. He quickly picked the 36-19 Mavs over other suitors such as the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns, verbally committing to Dallas on Monday night.

The Mavs could only offer Stoudemire the prorated veteran's minimum. His deal with Dallas is worth $477,150, according to sources.

The Mavs plan to use Stoudemire, a six-time All-Star who is averaging 12.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game this season, as a sixth man. The majority of his minutes are likely to come as Chandler's backup at center, and Stoudemire will also get some spot duty at power forward behind Nowitzki.

"I know what he can provide -- an incredible finisher at the rim, one of the best pick-and-roll players that we have in the game still," said Chandler, who played with Stoudemire in New York for three seasons before being traded to the Mavs last summer. "I'm excited for what he can bring. I think he can really flourish because his minutes won't be high. He'll only be asked to do what he's great at doing. That's coming in and finishing and scoring in the paint.

"I feel like he's going to be an incredible addition for us."

The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Stoudemire fills a significant void for the Mavs, who have been searching for a big man to bolster the bench since giving up Brandan Wright in the Dec. 18 deal to acquire point guard Rajon Rondo. Journeyman Greg Smith, rookie second-round pick Dwight Powell and Bernard James, who signed a 10-day contract on Feb. 11, had been Dallas' options at backup center.

"It's obvious he would be a great upgrade to our front line, especially to our thin bench on the front line," Nowitzki said.

The Mavs released swingman Ricky Ledo, a second-round pick in 2013, to make room on the roster for Stoudemire.