James Dolan is at it again, doing his best George Steinbrenner impression and ready to give up young, soon-to-be All-Star talent Iman Shumpert for an aging point guard with no playoff chops whatsoever.
I'm writing, of course, of Steve Nash.
Nash, in all his alleged greatness, has delivered zero championships in his 16 NBA seasons. He is a non-factor on defense, and he's an invisible man on the boards. Did I forget to say he is 38?
Shumpert, on the other hand, is 22, tenacious on D and, well, did I say he was 22?
Granted, Nash shot .532 from the field last year for the Phoenix Suns and he averaged 10-plus assists per game. But a 38-year-old Nash is not worth the roughly $8 or $9 million a year it's going to take to bag him, and his presence does not make the Knicks instant title contenders.
Current Knicks starting point guard (or so Woodson has said) Jeremy Lin averaged nearly 10 assists when he started. While his shooting percentage needs improvement, Lin was every bit as clutch as Nash has been throughout his career.
Shumpert's .401 from the field certainly leaves one wanting for more, but it's Shump's aggressiveness on defense and his resolve up and down the court that make him such a player to watch.
There's a reason the Phoenix Suns have insisted, throughout negotiations with the Knicks, that Shumpert be part of the deal. He is the prospect on the Knicks other than Lin. And even Dolan is smart enough to know that Lin is too valuable to the Knicks—both on and off the court—to trade this offseason.