Playing Buy or Sell with Iman Shumpert Trade Rumors

Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 17:  Iman Shumpert of New York Knicks looks on during the NBA London Live 2013 game between New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons at the O2 Arena on January 17, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Just like Jared Dudley isn't going to land the Phoenix Suns Josh Smith, he's not going to land them Iman Shumpert.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Phoenix remains entranced by Shumpert, the same player they passed on in the 2011 draft and the same one they passed on again when shopping Steve Nash this past summer:

As the Phoenix Suns try to reshuffle their roster for the future, their front office remains motivated to try to acquire New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Suns are willing to give New York a package that includes forward Jared Dudley and possibly a future first-round pick for Shumpert, but the Knicks have so far shown no inclination to do such a deal, sources said.

Should we buy into the notion that the Suns are interested in dealing for Shumpert?

Absolutely.

Phoenix's defense is a mess. It ranks 22nd in points allowed per game (100.2) and allows the eighth most points off three pointers a night (19.3). As one of the best perimeter defenders in the game, Shumpert would help the Suns a great deal on the defensive end. 

But while acquiring Shumpert makes sense for Phoenix, relinquishing the sophomore in exchange for Dudley makes none for the New York Knicks.

Dudley is a renowned three-point shooter and is converting on 39.1 percent of his attempts this season, but he's not as dangerous a defender, and he's owed $17 million over the next four seasons.

It's tough to consider Dudley as one-dimensional as a Steve Novak, because he isn't. He's an adequate defender, but doesn't guard well on the break nor does he man the passing lanes as effectively. Given that the Knicks rank fifth in three-point percentage (38.3), his deep ball tendencies aren't needed either.

Admittedly, New York relies heavily on the three. The Knicks lead the league in three-point attempts per game and Shumpert is shooting just 32.4 percent from behind the arc for his career.

If they wish to continue their three-point heavy genre of offense, their search for another shooter is justifiable.

But Dudley? Come on now.

Even if New York doesn't see Shumpert as a part of its future, you can't justify trading a young, exuberant asset like him in favor of a 27-year-old specialist on a longer term contract.

In Shumpert, the Knicks have someone who gives them a chance at containing a Dwyane Wade or any of the more explosive guards in the league. Dudley doesn't do the same, or even close to it.

It's also worth mentioning that Shumpert is knocking down 42.9 percent of threes since returning from a torn ACL.

There's really no better way to explain it then you just don't trade a Shumpert for a Dudley. At all.

Buy or Sell Shumpert for Dudley: Sell

 

Is Shumpert Untouchable?

Just because the Knicks won't deal Shumpert in favor of Dudley doesn't mean he's untouchable.

As Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com reported, New York has been listening to other "offers" for the second-year guard:

The New York Knicks are listening to trade offers for Iman Shumpert, but a team source said a deal that would send the second-year guard to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley as part of a multiplayer package is "unlikely at this point."

The Knicks have been monitoring the trade market for a shooter in recent weeks, but there is a faction in the organization opposed to giving up Shumpert, who is widely viewed as one of the top young perimeter defenders in the league.

One team source characterized the Knicks' listening to the Suns' offer as the team performing its due diligence as the trade deadline nears.

Still, the same team source said not everyone in the organization is convinced of Shumpert's long-term value to the Knicks.

Personally, I still don't understand the need for a shooter on the Knicks. If they would utilize Novak more frequently off of curls and the like, their supposed search for a shooter wouldn't be necessary.

That said, we can't consider Shumpert untouchable, especially this time of year.

If New York truly isn't convinced of Shump's long term value, he could be available for the right price or rather, a steep one.

As the oldest team in NBA history, the Knicks aren't a team looking three and four years ahead from now. They're looking at only now

Despite Mike Woodson's unrelenting faith in the one he still calls "rook," he's known to prefer a veteran team. Not only is Shumpert far from a seasoned talent, but most continue to doubt his value as a shooter. His offensive mechanics have been questionable at best when he takes to the perimeter.

Still, it would be difficult to imagine the Knicks parting ways with such a promising prospect. New York is already allowing 4.6 points fewer per 100 possessions with him on the floor and his 1.7 steals per game had him tied for seventh-most in the league last season.

And yet, as is the case with every team, the Knicks must do their due diligence. Acquiring Shumpert won't prove to be a cheap endeavor for any interested party, but if the right offer comes along that blows the Knicks away, not even Woodson would hesitate to pull the trigger.

Buy or Sell Shumpert Being Available: Buy

 

Conclusion

Let's not pretend like New York is actively shopping Shumpert. Its in no position to play the part of aggressor.

Given the number of older players and steep contracts the Knicks currently house, though, Shumpert is one of their most valuable trade assets and his inclusion in any deal of significance would be imperative.

But deals of significance aren't going to include Dudley. Ever.

Expect the Knicks to balk at such a proposal, even if it includes a first-rounder. Should an offer come around that includes a reasonably priced game-changer, then perhaps New York sings a different tune.

Thus, unless the caliber of offers change, Shumpert's uniform won't.

 

*All stats used in this article were compiled from Basketball-Reference, Synergy Sports and 82games.com unless otherwise noted.