The New York Knicks have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (32-18) and realistic championship hopes for the first time since the days of Patrick Ewing, Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell.
The drama-filled rumors surrounding Shumpert's availability have been befitting of the New York City setting.
When reports first surfaced that Shumpert was being shopped, Knicks coach Mike Woodson raced to shoot them down (via SI.com). Then, sources close to the sophomore hoped that he would indeed be traded to salvage what they saw as his dwindling confidence (according to Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com). That report lasted just a few days before Shumpert's agent, Happy Walters, declared it "totally false" (via ESPNNewYork.com).
Any time a player is given that much ink at the trade deadline, he's clearly being discussed. Now, discussions don't guarantee transactions, but they do offer a direct view of how much weight Shumpert carries around the league.