NBA Free Agents 2012: It's Worth Giving Up Iman Shumpert To Get Steve Nash
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Knicks have offered a Nash trade, which is headlined by young leaper Iman Shumpert.
Knicks fans are already howling about how "Shump" isn't worth Nash's last two years. I can understand this; the Knicks have not been invested in developing young talent, and now they finally have an intriguing up-and-comer.
Shumpert is fun to watch, and he may improve considerably. Trading him for Nash's final two seasons is certainly a risk. However, it's a risk fans should be willing to take, as Shumpert's rookie season was far from spectacular.
Despite the hype, we're talking about a guy with a 10.83 player efficiency rating who shot 40.1 percent from the field. His defense was lauded, but frankly, I didn't see it as a net positive last year. Shumpert made spectacular plays on D, but those contributions were often outweighed by bad help defense and conspicuous gambling.
Right now, Shump is a good defensive talent. He is not a good defensive player.
Shumpert is also someone whom 99 percent of NBA fans would know nothing about if he played for, say, the Raptors. The New York market tends to give players a reputation boost, and that makes it harder for fans to part with said athlete.
Steve Nash, on the other hand, is Steve Nash.
He shot 53.2 percent from the field last year, despite turning 38 years old in February. The combined shooting and passing skills allow Nash to age better than French wine. Perhaps the Knicks' medical staff will be his Waterloo, but I expect a few more fantastic seasons from one of the greatest point guards ever.
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