Potential Trade Packages, Scenarios and Landing Spots for Iman Shumpert
This is what we're led to believe at least. He's been dangled in trade talks since the beginning of time, suggesting the Knicks aren't high on his future in New York.
But the team hasn't struck a deal yet, much to our continued surprise. Diminished production might not have anything to do with it, either. Despite averaging just 6.6 points on 38 percent shooting per game, calls continue to roll in.
According to ESPN's Chris Broussard, the Los Angeles Lakers have now joined the party. They, like many others, have expressed interest in acquiring the swingman's services. No deal is considered imminent, but it's the extent of the rumors we're interested in.
Speculation hasn't stopped. New York has done nothing to quell it, and suitors continue to surface. If the Knicks are serious about dealing Shump, they're going to have options.
Whether they'll choose to explore them remains to be seen.
*All stats used courtesy of Basketball-Reference and all salary information obtained from ShamSports.com unless otherwise noted. Potential trades also meet all requirements under NBA's CBA and were vetted through ESPN Trade Machine whenever possible.
New York Knicks Receive: PG Andre Miller (two years, $9.6 million) and 2016 first-round draft pick (lottery protected).
Denver Nuggets Receive: PG Raymond Felton (three years, $11.4 million) and SG Iman Shumpert (three years, $8 million).
Why New York Does It: Pablo Prigioni has been great, but Felton hasn't. Same can be said for Beno Udrih. Lackluster point guard play is why the Knicks have been searching outside the organization for help, most notably attempting to acquire Kyle Lowry from the Toronto Raptors, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Miller has also drawn interest from the Knicks previously. His veteran leadership and experience coming off the bench make him the perfect candidate to backup Priggy Smalls. He can also be used as an undersized 2 in dual-point guard lineups.
Relinquishing a young prospect like Shumpert for a veteran such as Miller isn't ideal, but with Tim Hardaway Jr. playing out of his mind more frequently than Shump, this is a trade the desperate Knicks could afford to make.
Why Denver Does It: There's really no downside for Denver here.
The Nuggets are getting another athletic wing in Shumpert, who is on an affordable rookie deal. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News previously reported the Nuggets and Knicks were discussing a Kenneth Faried-for-Shumpert swap, and while nothing ever materialized, it's safe to assume Denver has some level of interest in the shooting guard's services.
Felton, when healthy and properly conditioned, can run the floor and initiate pick-and-rolls behind Ty Lawson (and Nate Robinson). His contract is reasonable and a small price to pay for acquiring Shumpert without relinquishing a first-rounder or Faried himself.
Denver Nuggets, Take II
New York Knicks Receive: F Kenneth Faried (three years, $6.9 million) and PG Andre Miller (two years, $9.6 million).
Denver Nuggets Receive: PG Raymond Felton (three years, 11.4 million), SG Iman Shumpert (three years, $8 million) and 2018 first-round pick.
Why New York Does It: Because Masai Ujiri doesn't operate out of Denver anymore, meaning owner James Dolan won't refuse to do business with the Nuggets. And because the Knicks, as Isola notes, are infatuated with the idea of trading for Faried.
The Knicks still get an upgrade at point guard in this deal while also bolstering their attack on the glass. Manimal thrives in transition and is pure energy. Defense has been his Achilles heel, but he's not J.R. Smith-disgusting on that end, either.
Potential hold-ups include handing over that first-round pick, but Shumpert hasn't done much to raise his stock and Faried is a nightly double-double threat. The Knicks would likely need to include it if they wish to push this deal through.
Why Denver Does It: A source told Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling that Faried's days in Denver are numbered and that New York is his inevitable destination. I'm going to assume the source wasn't referring to the Brooklyn Nets, because they're lighter on assets than the Knicks.
Another source, however, told Zwerling that Nuggets GM Tim Connelly won't move Faried for Shumpert. That's perfectly understandable considering how much more valuable Faried is right now over Shump. But that's what the first-round pick is for.
If the Nuggets intend to deal Faried, they could do a lot worse. Future first-rounders are valuable trade chips, and they're also landing a swingman they're believed to have interest in.
Los Angeles Lakers
Los Angeles Lakers Receive: C Tyson Chandler (two years, $28.7 million), SG Iman Shumpert (three years, $8 million) and SG J.R. Smith (three years, $17.9 million).
New York Knicks Receive: C Pau Gasol (one year, $19.3 million).
Why New York Does It: This deal was pulled straight out of the rumor mill from Broussard. It's also one I've broken down previously, so at the risk of accidentally repeating myself, allow me to deliberately play broken records:
Because they hate you (I'm kidding—I think).
The Knicks have been dangling Shumpert in trade talks since before you were born. With the way Smith is playing—awful—they'd also be lucky to wave buh-bye to his contract. Chandler is the tough farewell here.
Hoping against hope they can clear their books this summer, the Knicks could do it. They really could. As I outlined previously, if the Knicks can find a home for Amar'e Stoudemire in exchange for an expiring deal, in addition to moving Chandler and Smith, they suddenly have under $50 million in salaries on their docket heading into this summer.
Who knows what would happen after that? Maybe they find a way to dump Andrea Bargnani, creating enough spending power to offer a max contract after re-signing 'Melo. Possibilities aren't endless, but they're easier to explore following this deal.
Speaking of Anthony, the Knicks would also remove the Lakers from his list of potential destinations with this deal, since it sends Los Angeles back to the Land of No Cap Room.
As for Gasol, well, he's pretty much worthless to New York as anything other than an expiring pact. He's a clear downgrade from Chandler on defense, and offensively, he's Bargs plus passing, but sans the outside touch.
Why Los Angeles Does It: From that same breakdown:
Fully aware that landing Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James this summer is a long shot, the Lakers would regroup for next season and look ahead to 2015. Chandler, a former Defensive Player of the Year, is a defensive upgrade over every big the Lakers have. Shumpert, while struggling in New York, adds depth on the wing, and Smith, raging immaturity and all, can be an asset offensively.
One issue here (surprise, but not really) is Smith. His contract runs beyond next season, so the Lakers must be pretty confident they can either dump him or that he won't exercise his player option for 2015-16.
Still, if the Lakers are done with free-agency planning for 2014, this is a deal worthy of consideration.
Additional Notes: The Lakers must take on Smith in this deal for it to warrant serious consideration from Knicks GM Steve Mills. Even then, it's the type of trade that could backfire for both teams. Still, it's a rumor, so it must be discussed.
New York Knicks Receive: C Spencer Hawes (one year, $6.6 million).
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: C Cole Aldrich (one year, $884,293), PG Raymond Felton (three years, $11.4 million) and SG Iman Shumpert (three years, $8 million).
Why New York Does It: Frontcourt help is not on the way in New York—but it could be.
With Chandler still out and the team announcing Kenyon Martin will be sidelined indefinitely, the Knicks are screwed. Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani are now their primary big men. I'm all for small ball, but this current convocation is a recipe for defensive disaster.
Hawes doesn't solve New York's defensive woes by any means. His defensive rating stands at 106, which makes him more of a liability than asset. But he's big. And he can shoot. Like really shoot. He's converting 44.6 percent of his three-pointers on the season. And he can rebound.
Put simply, he's someone the Knicks can use.
Why Philadelphia Does It: Hawes is on an expiring deal, and the Sixers, according to ESPN's Marc Stein, have been linked to the Houston Rockets' Omer Asik. If Philly doesn't plan to pay Hawes this summer, it should capitalize off his market value now.
There may be other teams willing to part with a first-rounder for Hawes, but the Sixers could have their shooting guard of the future in Shumpert. Face it: Tony Wroten isn't it. At least, a backcourt comprising him and (a healthy) Michael Carter-Williams isn't as intriguing as an MCW-Shumpert one-two punch.
Shumpert also fits into what the Sixers are doing. He's on a cheap rookie deal and won't demand any long-term financial commitments from them right away.
Felton is valuable as Carter-Williams' insurance policy and mentor as well. Given the frequency with which he's been "injured," that's no small get.
New York Knicks Receive: PG Kyle Lowry (one year, $6.2 million).
Toronto Raptors Receive: PG Raymond Felton (three years, $11.4 million) and SG Iman Shumpert (three years, $8 million).
Why New York Does It: According to Isola, this deal was basically in place already.
New York was prepared to send Felton, World Peace and one of Shumpert, Hardaway and a 2018 first-round pick to Toronto when Dolan vetoed the trade, mostly out of fear that public perception would paint him a fool.
Truthfully, cases can be made for and against this deal. The Knicks won't think twice about dealing Felton, nor should they. Shumpert's inclusion is cause for pause, though.
But the fact is, Shumpert hasn't been playing well. Now is the time you can trade an asset like him for a moderately talented point guard on an expiring deal without taking too much heat.
Be honest, who would you rather the Knicks have at this point, that first-rounder, Hardaway or Shumpert? That's what I thought.
Not to say the Knicks should make this trade. Again, these deals are all assuming they're hell-bent on moving Shump. All we're really saying is if the Knicks want Lowry, and must fork over an additional asset, it should be Shumpert over the other two.
Why Toronto Does It: Because Ujiri loves swindling Dolan out of assets. And because this helps them rebuild.
Shumpert is a defensive-oriented wing with a much higher ceiling than Landry Fields. He can be paired next to DeMar DeRozan, forming a more well-balanced dyad than DeRozan and Rudy Gay ever did. Still on his rookie deal, he's hardly a financial risk either.
Felton and is an essential throw-in the Raptors could use. Newly acquired Greivis Vasquez will need someone behind him after Lowry is shipped out.
Have to assume this deal makes Toronto slightly worse in the interim, too. It's one of those trades with potential that also helps the Raptors tank for Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker. They should be sold on this yesterday.
Actually, if we take Isola's word for it, they already were.
New York Knicks Receive: PF Kris Humphries (one year, $12 million), SG Courtney Lee ($three years, $16.4 million), PG Rajon Rondo (two years, $24.9 million) and SF Gerald Wallace (three years, $30.3 million).
Boston Celtics Receive: C Tyson Chandler (two years, $28.7 million), PG Kyle Lowry (one year, $6.2 million), PF Amar'e Stoudemire (two years, $45.1 million) and 2018 first-round draft pick (from New York).
Toronto Raptors Receive: PG Raymond Felton (three years, $11.4 million) and SG Iman Shumpert (three years, $8 million).
Why New York Does It: Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. That was a lot to take in, and Knicks fans are probably a mixture of happy and sad. Me? I hate this deal for New York—I'm being honest. But if they are in fact obsessed with pursuing Rondo, it's one they have to consider.
Lee and Wallace are two terrific replacements for Shumpert. Downside is their contracts, which run through 2015-16. On the bright side, those could be dumped leading into the summer of 2015, since they're not as ridiculously priced as STAT's.
Humphries is also someone who helps the Knicks in Chandler's absence, giving the team rebounding and understated work ethic down low. Does he replace Chandler? Absolutely not. But if the Knicks want Rondo, they would have to suck it up.
Rondo guarantees 'Melo's return. He gives New York the franchise point guard it doesn't have. And he gives Dolan a reason to pump his fist and sport a maniacal smile.
Why Boston Does It: Zwerling previously reported that the Celtics would be willing to absorb the rest of Stoudemire's contract provided they were able to pawn "Crash" off on the Knicks. Well, they certainly do that here. And Lee, too.
Let's also not pretend STAT couldn't help the Celtics at this point. He's playing better on the offensive end and making back-to-back appearances. Renting him for two years (or less if they flip him next season) is a small price to pay if you're clearing the books of Crash and Lee.
Rookie head coach Brad Stevens gains an All-Star center in Chandler to work with for the next two years here as well. Toss in the inclusion of Lowry and that first-round pick, perhaps this is the combination of cap relief, talent and draft picks Danny Ainge needs to bid Rondo adieu.
Why Toronto Does It: For reasons stated previously. This is the same trade for them as before, only the Raptors are sending Lowry to Boston instead of New York.
Plus, did I mention Ujiri loves putting the screws to Dolan?