Breaking Down the New York Knicks' Best Trade Bait

Andrew BurtonCorrespondent IIIDecember 17, 2012

Breaking Down the New York Knicks' Best Trade Bait

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    This season, the New York Knicks could possibly be sellers rather than buyers when the trade deadline dawns upon us.

    It wasn't too far back that the Knicks made one of the biggest splashes in trade deadline history when they acquired Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets, but this time around they'll be the ones taking calls. 

    New York has collected an exuberant roster that's playing energetic and meaningful basketball, but then again there's an excess of players that could be dealt. 

    Here is the best trade bait that New York has to offer in 2012.

J.R. Smith

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    Let's face it, J.R. Smith is not reaching his full potential so long as he's a sixth man—see James Harden to Houston Rockets. For that reason, he could be a starter on a lot of NBA teams in need of a scoring 2-guard.

    Not to mention—his contract is salary-cap friendly.

    New York has had a lot of scoring this season coming in a variety of ways in the forms of Raymond Felton, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.

    J.R. has been a solid contributor to this Knickerbocker team night-in and night-out.

    This season, the shooter is averaging 14 points and five rebounds per game.

    However, against the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers, Smith stepped it up in the absence of Carmelo Anthony by scoring 18 against LA and 16 points against the Cavs. 

    It's also worth noting that J.R. has improved his defense over the summer, and he's playing his best defense in years. 

    Offense is great, but defense is better, and a player that can do both is rare...especially at J.R.'s price. 

Ronnie Brewer

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    Where J.R. Smith is a 2-guard known on the offensive side of the ball, Ronnie Brewer is the guy known for his hard-nosed defense. 

    Let's be clear though, Brewer is connecting more than enough offensively, too.

    Although not known for his offense, Ronnie is shooting 41 percent from the field, including 35 percent from three-point land—a solid improvement in comparison to his last year.

    With New York, Brewer is averaging six points a game in just over 22 minutes. 

    His value comes on defense.

    Brewer could be an excellent addition to a team looking for a player that can guard just about every position—he's lanky enough to guard a 3-or-4, but he's got a fast enough step to ward off a 2-guard. 

    In fact, Ronnie's been a big help in holding guys like LeBron James this season; that in itself is a valuable experience. 

Steve Novak

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    Steve Novak's shot from behind the arc is most likely to go down than anyone else. 

    He's got the third best 3-point percentage—he's shooting 45 percent—on New York behind Jason Kidd and Carmelo Anthony. 

    He compliments this team perfectly, so in order for New York to part ways with him, the deal would certainly have to be enticing. 

    This season, "Novakane" is averaging 8.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

    While Novak can't do much more than shoot, he'd still be a good pickup for a team looking for an outside scorer. 

Iman Shumpert

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    This is where New York can get the most value in return. 

    Iman Shumpert is a versatile guard. 

    He can play the point. He can be the shooter. He can play defense. 

    He's a rare breed of athlete, and he's yet to reach his potential...he's only 22 years old. 

    Last year, any deal that New York explored almost certainly needed to include Shump. 

    After going down late last season due to a knee injury, Iman is looking to come back sometime next month, and he's looking to make his presence felt. 

    Even though Iman has yet to clock a minute in this season, he's probably the most valuable in terms of of trade bait. He's got such a high ceiling that we've yet to experience, but I think it's safe to say he'll remain a Knick for some time. 

Amar'e Stoudemire

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    You guys had to see this one coming.

    I know at least one person thought this slide would be dedicated to Carmelo Anthony, but under no circumstance do you trade away a superstar with Melo's talent that you depleted your roster for two years back. 

    With that being said, some team looking for an All-Star that could be attractive and sell tickets might take a gamble on Amar'e Stoudemire, However, you won't receive talent nearly as good as Stat because of his ailing injuries. 

    We have yet to see how Stat will mesh with this new-look Knicks' team, but he's a 20-point per game player that could ease the work load on Melo's shoulders.

    Because he can score 20 a night, he's attractive to other teams...if the price is cheap.

    You can bet if Amar'e disrupts the chemistry or doesn't work well off the bench, he could be had for a towel boy and a rack of basketballs. 

    Fortunately for those believers that think Amar'e will provide another spark to this bonfire of Knicks' players, he shouldn't be going anywhere.