Trade rumors have once again begun swirling around guard/forward Iman Shumpert as he struggles to find a suitable role on the New York Knicks. One of the notable trade possibilities that has been brought up would send Shumpert to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley and a first round pick.
Though this trade could be considered a good pull for the Knicks, (Dudley is a young, solid starter, and the Suns mediocrity ensures a decent value for the pick), it is not a wise move for the New York City basketball club.
Though the Knicks have had issues finding a role for Shumpert, it would be unwise to panic and dish the second year defensive stopper for the sharp shooting Dudley.
The reasoning behind this lies in the fact that Dudley's best trait, three-point shooting, is one in which the Knicks are already rich. Further, Dudley's play style is too similar to other key members of the Knicks, which could cause their offense to become stagnant.
In this December game (ironically against the Knicks) Dudley played very well, dropping 36 points. Let's take a closer look at how scored those points, though.
Watching the very first play of this clip, we see Dudley waiting on the far side wing as the ball is taken into the paint. As soon as Dudley sees a pass whiz from the paint to the top of the key, he immediately drifts into the corner, his favorite spot. With the defense collapsed, he knows the Knicks rotation to him in the corner will be late, and from there all he has to do is wait for the pass before cashing in an easy three.
Now, let's fast forward to exactly two minutes into this video. Here you'll once again see Dudley do what he does best: Shoot corner threes. He waits out on the wing for the ball to reach the other side of the court, then casually drifts his way to the corner. He then simply waits for the ball to swing back around his way and as the defense scrambles to rotate, he drops another dagger three.
This is not very different from something another player on the Knickerbockers does. Though Steve Novak does not bring the same athleticism and all around game that Dudley does, he fills the roll of spot-up corner three specialist all the same.
Watch as Mike Fratello breaks down his use during the end of last season. The same concept that goes into all those Dudley corner threes is in play here, with just one major difference: Novak gets to play with Carmelo Anthony, who draws more attention from defenses and thus leaves more room for Novak to shoot.
Both teams isolate the ball on one side of the court while Dudley/Novak stand idle in the corner before swinging the ball in the opposite direction, resulting in open corner threes.
Given the Knicks already have a plethora of three point shooters and ones that excel from shooting spot up threes (Novak, Rasheed Wallace, Jason Kidd), adding another in lieu of a defensive stalwart (Shumpert) does not seem to make a ton of sense. Yes, Dudley would be an offensive upgrade from Shumpert, but does that addition outweigh the defensive hit the Knicks would take in dealing him?
If anything, the Knicks should look to trade one of those shooters for another defensive-minded big who can give Tyson Chandler some help and solidify their second unit, given Amar'e Stoudemire is relatively porous on D.
Adding another shooter to the equation would really read more as an overreaction to the Knicks cooling off from three after their scorching hot start from outside to start the season.
Just because they're not shooting at the same clip does not mean they aren't still a very good three-point shooting team; it just means they won't be the greatest shooting team of all time. If it isn't going to shoot that way, though, New York needs to add some defensive presence and keep Shumpert intact given he is their best option to guard LeBron James. After all, it's become very evident getting through the East means getting through Miami.