Knicks Rumors: Trading Away Iman Shumpert Would Be Huge Mistake for New York

Ciaran GowanContributor IIIFebruary 10, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16:  Shumpert Iman of the New York Knicks looks on during a New York Nicks trainning session prior to their NBA London Live 2013 match against the Detroit Pistons at O2 Arena on January 16, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The NBA hot stove is heating up, and even for the high-flying New York Knicks the trade rumors continue to develop.

According to ESPN, the latest rumor for the Knicks is that the Phoenix Suns are interested in acquiring promising guard Iman Shumpert, just a month after his return from injury.

You may remember that over the summer—whilst the Knicks pursued Steve Nash—the Suns again tried to get a hold of Shumpert, with New York willing to let him go before the Lakers stepped in.


This time, though, the Suns don't have a future Hall of Famer to offer the Knicks in return for their future star, making a trade a huge mistake for New York.

It looks like any potential trade would be based on the Knicks taking a lesser player in Jared Dudley, with draft picks added to even things out. 

And as nice as it may be to think about the Knicks potentially having one or two lottery picks in the next few years, there's nothing that Phoenix can realistically offer that would be worth accepting.

The Knicks are a win-now team, and their No. 1 focus has to be on how they can improve their chances to win it all this season. Anything beyond that is secondary.

Letting go of Shumpert would be a major hit to the Knicks' chances. Though he's only played 11 games this season, the charismatic guard is clearly a big part of the team's chemistry.

Shumpert created the idea of "KnicksTape," runs the team's pregame routine and even made a song about his teammates whilst rehabbing from his ACL tear. He's also one of the Knicks most popular figures, both amongst his fellow players and the fans.

Those are things that simply can't be measured or valued properly in any trade.

Even when you look only at his on-court value, it would be stupid to let go of someone so good defensively, especially when he happens also to be one of the most athletic players in the league.

Shumpert has even improved his jump shot this season, and learning behind a player like Jason Kidd he really has unlimited potential if New York resists the temptation to pull the trigger on a trade.

The Knicks would have all the power in any trade negotiations with the Suns, but you just don't make a chemistry-killing trade like this when you're doing so well, standing second in the Eastern Conference.