It’s less than 24 hours until the NBA trading deadline and as many suspected, the New York Knicks are finding their names attached to rumors. But it’s not the exploration of trading Carmelo Anthony that some expected, its third-year swingman Iman Shumpert that New York could be dealing.
No deal is imminent and who knows if one will actually get done, but this is James Dolan. Anything is possible and knowing the owner’s history, no promises it would even benefit the Knicks.
Shumpert’s name has been appearing in trade rumors since the onset of the season. First it was to Denver in a Kenneth Faried deal then Sacramento for guard play. Although rumors about New York revisiting a potential Shumpert-Faried deal, they seem hellbent on improving the lackluster guard play according to ESPN New York and Shumpert is the centerpiece.
This is where Darren Collison’s name has come up recently. Apparently, talks have been going on for some time about trading Iman to the Clippers but the story didn’t break until the day before the deadline. The deal is said to center around trading Raymond Felton and Shumpert to Los Angeles in exchange for Collison and rookie guard Reggie Bullock.
Shumpert has excelled from a defensive standpoint since his career began but has regressed offensively this season. He has a growing reputation as someone who will settle for long jump shots as opposed to driving the lane, something the Knicks need on offense. Through 51 games, Shumpert has taken more three point attempts than two point attempts and frustration about his lack of offensive progression is starting to boiling over.
It has come to the point where Mike Woodson even kept Shumpert on the bench in the 4th quarter in Tuesday’s loss to the Grizzlies while rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. saw late minutes. He’s been a detriment to the team on offense for most of the season.
With that said, there is still time for him to come around. Right now it feels like it would be a panic move for the Knicks to ship off Shumpert. The 2013-14 season may be lost and this could just be an attempt at a short-term solution that ultimately fails. Even though his lack off offensive progression is frustrating, it could be even worse watching him flourish with another organization. Knicks fans want to believe there’s still time for the rest of his game to come around.
The deal would get rid of Felton, who most fans probably don’t want to see anymore. Still, we must ponder: is the upgrade at point guard large enough to lose an athletic talent like Shumpert? This was Iman’s first time starting a season in his short career and he could still end up fulfilling promise. Plus, his low salary isn’t cause for any issue financially.
It’s clear the Knicks want and need to shake things up. They could be improving the team or trading a potential big-time contributor/future trade chip. If eyes are on 2015, couldn’t Iman (if not kept) be of better use in a deal where more assets are acquired? Let’s be honest, Shumpert isn’t exactly reaching his highest value at the moment.
Is it the right move for the Knicks to get rid of Shumpert? The struggles on offense are real but is this the time for New York to give up on him? I wouldn’t say so, not right now.