The Orlando Magic and New York Knicks have engaged in exploratory talks for a potential trade centered around Knicks guard Iman Shumpert and Magic guard J.J. Redick, according to Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com.
As nice as this may look on paper, it wouldn't translate to the hardwood.
This is not to say that Redick can't contribute to the Knicks, as he remains one of the league's elite three-point shooters. As of the All-Star break, Redick is eighth in three-point field goals made and is converting 40.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The Knicks, meanwhile, are attempting a league-high 29.0 three-pointers per game.
For that reason, one might be inclined to believe that this is the perfect fit in New York. Redick is a better motion scorer than the aging Jason Kidd and would be a more complete player than Steve Novak.
With that being said, Redick would only work in New York if Shumpert were to remain with the Knicks.
Per Kennedy, that would defeat the purpose of this potential trade. After all, the only reason Orlando would even consider giving up Redick would be to acquire an elite defensive talent.
Which takes us to the reason this deal only works on paper.
No matter how powerful their offense may be, the Knicks are coached by Mike Woodson, who preaches defense above everything. As much as Redick has developed since entering the league, he still isn't the elite defender that Shumpert is.
Lone Lockdown Defender
Tyson Chandler is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. He came to New York, transformed the culture of the team and took a bottom-feeding defensive team and made them elite in that area.
That said, Chandler's burden would have been too heavy to handle it weren't for the presence of Shumpert, an elite perimeter defender.
Shumpert finished the 2012-13 season with two third-place votes for Defensive Player of the Year (via NBA.com). He did so by playing lockdown defense and swiping 1.7 steals per game.
As a rookie.
In 2012-13, Shumpert is playing out of position at small forward. As such, the numbers aren't as striking as they were last season, but the Knicks are still allowing about six fewer points per 48 minutes when Shump is on the floor (via 82games.com).
About the Three-Ball
In case you're unfamiliar with the Knicks, they take a keen liking to the three-point shot. In fact, a league-high 33.0 percent of New York's points come from deep.
So why would they need Redick to improve in an area that has been nothing short of a strength?
For what it's worth, Shumpert is shooting 41.4 percent from beyond the arc on 2.2 attempts per game. He's also an elite perimeter defender, which is an area in which the Knicks could actually stand to improve.
The three-ball, meanwhile, is fine as is.
Six players on the Knicks are shooting 37.0 percent or better from beyond the arc. Four of the top 25 three-point shooters in the NBA, based on percentages, play for the Knicks.
Three even rank in the top 30 of three-point field goals made.
So, why would New York feel the need to trade its only form of youth for a veteran three-point shooter? More importantly, why would the Knicks deal an elite perimeter defender when they have no one to replace him in said role?
Until those questions are answered, there is one certainty about this potential trade—it only looks good on paper.