Stephon Marbury may be in shape physically to join the Knicks on the court, but the Knicks might finally be ready mentally to part ways with their chaotic point guard.
The Knicks are preparing to put Marbury on waivers by the end of the week, several sources with knowledge of the situation told Newsday. The team must await the go-ahead from Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, however, because it would involve eating another large chunk of money in a buyout, Newsday reported.
Marbury is entering the final year of his contract, worth $21.9 million.
Once Marbury clears waivers and a buyout is agreed upon, he would be free to sign with any team. Reports in Newsday and the South Florida media have mentioned the Miami Heat, who are in need of a point guard, as having interest.
According to Newsday, Marbury has recovered from January's left ankle surgery, which was needed to remove bone spurs, and has worked out all summer in Southern California, trimming his weight to 200 pounds.
He did not join the other Knicks veterans for scrimmages at the team's training center until Monday, even though the informal workouts had been going on since last week.
Marbury's best performance statistically in 4½ seasons with the Knicks was in 2004-05, when he averaged 21.7 points and 8.1 assists a game. Since then, his numbers have declined, even as his feuding with his bosses and his teammates increased.
Marbury had numerous conflicts with former Knicks coaches Larry Brown and Isiah Thomas. The low point may have been in November 2007, when
Marbury left without permission and returned to New York while the team was in Phoenix for a game.
The Knicks signed guard Anthony Roberson in July, a further indication that they were ready to jettison Marbury. Roberson played 36 career NBA games with Memphis and Golden State, but spent last season in Turkey and Israel. The Knicks signed him to a deal after he averaged 14.8 points in five games for their summer league team.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.