Those of us who love Iman Shumpert, think he has a lot of promise, and want him to stay with the Knicks experienced some relief when those Shump-for-Kenneth Faried rumors faded. The report that braked the rumor mill, though, was this one:
Denver has made it clear to Kenneth Faried's reps: There are no active talks involving him. Knicks offered Shumpert. Denver rejected idea.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 13, 2013
So, that particular trade isn't going to happen, but the Knicks did offer Shumpert. And, it seems, they are still offering Shumpert. Shump addressed it last night:
Sources have told The Post Shumpert is on the trading block and Knicks president/general manager Steve Mills is discussing scenarios with teams in an attempt to get frontcourt help and alleviate a shooting-guard glut.
According to Shumpert, Woodson told him what he told the media. Shumpert should be flattered teams are interested in him and take it as a compliment. But Shumpert didn’t say he’s in the clear.
"There’s nothing I can do about it,’’ Shumpert said after Thursday’s 109-106 Houston heartbreaker. "Got to keep playing and limit distractions. I just have to play hard.’’
"Should be flattered teams are interested in him" is a funny and perhaps disingenuous way of saying the less flattering "we are the ones trying to trade you", which-- if you want a report other than Berman's-- Marc Stein says the Knicks are, and possibly with some urgency:
More and more folks around the league see some sort of Shumpert deal materializing sooner rather than later, given that he’s New York’s only real asset of value to make an in-season move and with the Knicks increasingly confident that they’ve got enough at the position to handle Shumpert’s exit now that J.R. Smith is back and with rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. looking good early.
Word is that the Nuggets do have a level interest -- just not if the Knicks keep asking them to part with Kenneth Faried in exchange -- while Sacramento is also said to be gauging how Shumpert might fit in.
So, ya know, go ahead and give that trade machine a spin.
This is tough. I love Shumpert and I cherish the rare opportunity to watch the Knicks develop a player they drafted, but that development hasn't really been fluid. Injuries interfered first, then some pushing and pulling over his position, then reported scorn from ownership, and now it just feels like he's fading from the offense and misusing his defensive skills. I also don't disagree with the notion that the Knick backcourt could adapt to Shump's absence. J.R. Smith is there, Tim Hardaway Jr. really does look like an NBA player, Pablo Prigioni's being underused, and Beno Udrih and Toure' Murry are waiting on the bench to slide into some minutes.
I don't want the Knicks to trade Iman Shumpert because I think he has the potential to be great. But if the Knicks aren't committed to making sure he becomes great, then yeah, perhaps it's sensible to see if he can be swapped for improvement at a position of greater need. I just hate it, and I don't know whether we can trust this Steve Mills-led front office to get enough-- like, hey, maybe a draft pick!-- in return.
In any event, this seems-- more than ever-- like a thing that's going to happen at some point. Perhaps soon, because the Knicks are going out of their way to make it so. It has felt before like the Knicks were about to trade Shumpert, but these reports feel way more ominous.