6 Potential Iman Shumpert Trade Ideas New York Knicks Should Consider
Phil Jackson hasn’t exactly been quiet about his desire to get the New York Knicks—for whom he took over as president of basketball operations back in March—into the first round of the 2014 NBA draft.
And if a recent report from ESPN’s Marc Stein is to be believed, Jackson may not be done wheeling and dealing just yet:
The Knicks nearly traded Iman Shumpert at the February deadline, and according to the latest personnel whispers, have explored the possibility of moving him for a late first-round pick in Thursday's draft proceedings…Some of the teams that previously expressed interest in Shumpert also have picks in the range New York is said to be targeting...and in some cases multiple picks.
It's quite the change of tune from when Jackson first came aboard back in March, when he confided in Marc Berman of the New York Post he was a fan of Shumpert's game.
Apparently the feeling was mutual.
“I love Phil Jackson,'' Shumpert told Berman. “Just being a child, seeing him, how he conducted the Bulls. I just love him.''
Clearly, things have changed.
Shumpert, who turned 24 Thursday, remains a valuable, upside-laden prospect—the kind that could easily yield the Knicks future picks and flexibility, assuming they can find the right trade partner.
What follows, then, are six potential trade packages Jackson would be wise to pursue, both ahead of Thursday's draft and beyond.
Let’s take a looksee!
1) Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder get: Iman Shumpert
Knicks get: 2014 No. 21 pick
As ESPN's Marc Stein notes, the Thunder have both the No. 21 and No. 29 picks. That might not seem like that big a gap from the Knicks’ perspective—particularly given the depth of this year’s draft—but it could mean the difference between getting a nice prospect and landing a possible franchise cornerstone.
Zach LaVine, Tyler Ennis and Jordan Clarkson are three upside-laden point guards who could be available at No. 21. Of the three, Ennis may be the most intriguing: a hyper-intelligent floor general (and Syracuse University product) who could fit beautifully in the triangle offense.
In Shumpert, the Thunder would be bolstering both their perimeter defense and their bench depth—the perfect potential replacement for Thabo Sefolosha, assuming the Swiss guard leaves in unrestricted free agency.
2) Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers get: Iman Shumpert
Knicks get: 2014 No. 28 pick
Per Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News, the Knicks and Clippers discussed the possibility of a trade involving Darren Collison back in February. After L.A. made it clear they wanted Iman Shumpert in return instead of Raymond Felton, New York balked.
Might the Clippers be willing to revisit a deal for Shumpert? As the two teams’ salaries stand, such a trade would likely have to involve some ancillary pieces—Matt Barnes from the Clippers, for instance.
The Knicks could most certainly find value at the No. 28 slot, why with names like K.J. McDaniels, Nikola Jokic and Mitch McGary—intelligent, triangle-ready talents all—floating thereabouts in many a mock draft.
If Jackson’s efforts to strike a more straightforward deal with the Thunder fall through, it might be worth exploring a more complex deal with L.A., though not if it involves further hampering New York’s already precarious financial footing.
3) Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls get: Iman Shumpert, Shane Larkin
Knicks get: Mike Dunleavy, 2015 first-round pick
The Knicks need as much financial flexibility as possible heading into next summer’s free-agency frenzy. And while Jackson could just as easily not match whatever offer Shumpert receives in restricted free agency (if any), if the Knicks can reel in another pick, all the better.
Why a 2015 first-rounder? Per Larry Coon, Larkin can’t be packaged in a second deal until after the first one becomes official, making it impossible for Chicago to include a 2014 pick.
Dunleavy’s $3 million comes off the books next season. Until then, he could prove to be a quick triangle understudy—an intelligent player capable of hitting the open jumper and the open man.
Chicago, Meanwhile, adds depth where they need it most—at shooting guard—while putting Larkin in a position to grow behind one of the league’s elite point guards in Derrick Rose.
4) Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers get: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith
New York Knicks get: Jason Richardson, picks No. 32 and/or No. 39 of 2014 draft
Philadelphia has a league-high seven picks entering the draft—two of them in the top-10. They certainly wouldn’t be willing to part with those, but to get Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith—depth, in a word, at a position where they desperately need it—while unloading Jason Richardson’s sizable contract, Nos. 32 and 39 could be on the table.
Richardson’s expiring contract would help the Knicks erase some of what they took on when they acquired Jose Calderon in the June 24 deal with the Dallas Mavericks.
“No way the Sixers want J.R. Smith on this young team,” some might say. And they would certainly have a point. At the very least, though, Smith would become a valuable trade chip in his own right—the kind of player you can unload at the trade deadline to a team looking for bench scoring.
5) Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies get: Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith
Knicks get: Tayshaun Prince, 2014 No. 22 pick
This is that “veteran team looking for wing scoring” scenario we were talking about on the previous slide.
This is another deal that would clear some salary for New York while giving it more draft-day firepower—enough, when coupled with those two second-rounders, to trade up even further, perhaps.
Memphis would be getting two players who could make for an intriguing “three-and-D” backcourt along with veteran stopper Tony Allen, not to mention some much-needed bench scoring.
A lot will depend on whether Memphis is able to re-sign Zach Randolph to a new, multiyear deal—something that might well not happen before Thursday night.
6) Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns get: Iman Shumpert, Amar’e Stoudemire
Knicks get: 2014 No. 27 pick / No. 18 pick
Knicks fans in need of the ultimate pie-in-the-sky scenario, look no further.
New York rids itself of Amar’e Stoudemire’s cumbersome contract, thereby freeing up some immediate cap space (not to mention sending STAT back to the team that drafted him). Phoenix, meanwhile, has a great insurance policy should Eric Bledsoe wind up leaving in restricted free agency.
Stoudemire’s best days are doubtless behind him, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help bolster Phoenix’s relatively thin frontcourt. At 20-25 minutes a game, STAT could give the Suns a big punch off the bench—an offensive anchor head coach Jeff Horancek can count on while the Suns’ youth-loaded starters are riding the pine.
If Jackson can somehow maneuver his way to the No. 18 pick, knowing Phoenix has three first-rounders to spare and only so many roster spots to fill? All the better for the Knicks.