Here we go again.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the New York Knicks are attempting to revive previous trade talks they had with the Denver Nuggets:
Hearing that Knicks are trying again to re-engage Denver and sell Nuggets on idea of trade built around Shumpert-for-Faried before deadline— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 11, 2014
Back in November, the New York Daily News' Frank Isola revealed both teams we're discussing the exact same trade:
J.R. Smith is starting & Iman Shumpert could be departing. I'm hearing Knicks-Nuggets continue to discuss an Iman for Kenneth Faried trade.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) November 13, 2013
New York's decision to rekindle negotiations comes as no surprise. The Knicks have repeatedly shopped third-year guard Iman Shumpert, consistently dangling him in proposals with hopes that he could land them an impact player.
But while Grantland's Zach Lowe says Kenneth Faried can still be had for the right price, Shumpert doesn't qualify at this point. He's struggled all season, and is averaging an unimpressive seven points on 38.1 percent shooting per game.
Although their salaries match up almost perfectly, it's difficult to imagine Denver dealing Faried—who is averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds on 54.7 percent shooting—for an inconsistent perimeter player with deteriorating athleticism.
Similar obstacles plagued November's negotiations, with Stein revealing that Denver wanted more than just Shumpert:
Yet it's believed that Denver is also seeking draft compensation in addition to Shumpert in exchange for Faried, who averaged 11.5 points and 9.2 rebounds in 2012-13 in his second season as a pro. That could prove to be too high a price for the Knicks, who would prefer not to part with Shumpert but understand that he is by far their most attractive current trade asset.
Draft compensation is something the Knicks don't have. They cannot deal a first-rounder until 2018, and wasting one of their lone future draft picks on another youngster—who has regressed a bit this season himself—would be tough to justify.
And FWIW, I thought Faried looked terrible the other night against the Knicks. Has been a bit of a down yr for him, just like Shumpert.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) February 11, 2014
At 20-31, though, the Knicks appear desperate to shake things up. They're two games outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, and they run the risk of losing Carmelo Anthony in free agency this summer if things don't change.
Denver has quietly put itself in a similar situation. The Nuggets are six games back of a playoff spot out West, and while they will have two first-round draft picks this summer, they've quietly assembled one of the league's worst payrolls.
With both teams in need of change, it makes sense that the topic would be broached again. But unless the Knicks are willing to give up more, this isn't a trade likely to go down.
"It’s something that he has to figure out," Anthony said of Shumpert's struggles earlier this month, via ESPN New York's Ian Begley. "We’ve got to help him figure it out too."
Helping Shumpert figure things out could include moving him to a team ready to give him a fresh start without the burden of revolving rumor-mill inclusion, but chances of the Nuggets being that team are less than slim.
*Salary information via ShamSports.