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Entering his fourth NBA season, Iman Shumpert still hasn't quite put all his raw skills together into one polished package, which makes it easy to overlook the positive effect he has on the Knicks' play.
Shumpert is a rare Knick who contributes positively on both the offensive and defensive ends. His stellar on-ball defense has never been a secret, and when he's going right, his three-point shooting and aggressiveness are key to the Knicks' offensive attack.
During the 2012-13 season, Shumpert reappeared from offseason knee surgery with a newfound stroke from three, particularly in the corners. He shot 40 percent from distance that year, including 43 percent in the playoffs—specifically, he drilled 57 percent of corner-threes in the postseason.
2013-14 was supposed to be the swingman's coming-out party, after he was arguably New York's best all-around player in the 2013 playoffs. But after a dismal season in several areas, Shumpert's value has dwindled slightly.
But even in a down season, Shumpert was still sought after by some of the league's best teams, namely the Los Angeles Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder, who were trade deadline suitors for the Georgia Tech product, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo and Marc Berman of the New York Post, respectively.
Even after shooting just 38 percent from the field and 33 percent from three-point range and contributing just 6.7 points per night, Shumpert still posted the second-best on-off net rating on the Knicks, behind only Carmelo Anthony. The team was 12.4 points better per 100 possessions with him on the floor, which speaks to the value of his complementary game.
Another factor to consider: Shumpert has shown a knack for stepping up his game when it matters most. The most glaring example is perhaps his best NBA game to date: the Knicks' final game of the 2013 playoffs against the Indiana Pacers. He scored 19, including 5-of-6 from three, in an unsuccessful attempt to rally his team back to a Game 7.
And although games were rarely meaningful for New York, particularly down the stretch, Shumpert continued this trend. Per NBA.com, he was one of just four Knicks to shoot better than 40 percent in "clutch" situations (ahead or behind by five points or less in the final five minutes). Among players with at least 15 shot attempts in those scenarios, his 46.7 clip was the best on the team.
Now, under a coach who presumably has a vested interest in developing talent—which will be a change for Shumpert and every young Knick—Shumpert's array of talents may finally get a fair chance to grow into a complete package. He'll be in the final season of his rookie deal before restricted free agency, which could bring out the best of the 24-year-old.
For three seasons, Shumpert has been a mix of raw talents on both ends of the floor. If he can mesh them together under the aid of Fisher's coaching staff this season, he'll solidify himself as yet another premier name in the current generation of young NBA talent.