“There are major concerns (from people close to Shumpert) over how the Knicks are developing him,” a source from another team told SheridanHoops.com, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
“They feel he’s being played out of position (at small forward) and his confidence is suffering because of it. They understand the team is having success and it has to be the right deal, but they’d prefer Iman in another situation… And soon.”
If it is a representative of Shumpert's that is pushing the Knicks to trade him, then at some level, Shumpert has to be aware of this. If he disagreed, then he would have put a stop to these rumors.
Shumpert was very strong defensively last season, but it's been a different story this season as he has worked his way back from a torn ACL suffered in last year's playoffs. While Shumpert's minutes are down from last season by 9.7 minutes per game, he needs to keep things in perspective.
While the Knicks are in a win-now mode, they can't let Shumpert work through his recovery on the court—unlike a potential lottery team would be able to. Shumpert should focus on his rehab in practice and in the gym, while understanding he'll only play limited minutes. With patience, he'll be able to recover fully and play as well as he did last year. That is why it would be a mistake for both the Knicks and Shumpert if he does end up getting traded.
Shumpert, who returned on Jan. 17, may be future of the Knicks. He needs to realize that it's remarkable he returned so soon from an ACL tear, as some players, like Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, could miss a whole season.
The 22-year-old should understand that he is lucky to be on a team with veteran leaders like Jason Kidd and Marcus Camby. If he wants to play, he could be traded to a non-playoff team—but he may not experience the same level of team success or have veteran leaders showing him how to practice and play the game the right way. Besides, if Shumpert is traded from New York, he could lose potential endorsement deals in the future that he would get from playing in a large market.
The Knicks, on the other hand, need to sit down with Shumpert and tell him to take his time getting better and explain to him how he fits into the team's future plans.
If the Knicks get an offer that they can't refuse for Shumpert, then they need to act. But when healthy, there are few young players that have the potential to be as strong defensively as Shumpert.
*Statistics are as of Feb. 17
**All statistics are from basketball-reference.com
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!