It seems like there hasn’t been a time in which Iman Shumpert wasn’t included in some sort of trade rumor. The New York Knicks have never been quite certain about a player that looked quite promising as a rookie but has only regressed since, which makes the franchise once again put him on the trading block, hoping that someone is foolish enough to give them a draft pick for him.
Iman Shumpert has to be one of the more perplexing players in the NBA right now. Just the fact that he is being talked about is a source of debate – is he only noticeable because he plays for the Knicks, or would he be considered a valuable player with potential if he would be in a much smaller market, say the Milwaukee Bucks? The Knicks constantly trying to get rid of him and not building on him for the future might teach us of what they think about him.
Shumpert’s numbers – total, average and per minutes, have declined since his rookie season. His shooting has been terrible, dropping to 37.8% from the field last season, and he isn’t nearly as automatic from beyond the arc as he seemed to be in the second season. He can hardly create his own shot or get anything done off the dribble. Maybe some of his value is through things that don’t show up on the stat sheet. However, as good as his defense might be, it’s just not something that the Knicks seem to be valuing enough to keep him as part of their future.
However, the Knicks do feel that some team might try and take a swing at improving Shumpert, a player the Knicks tried to get to play some point guard but he refused. Another warning sign about his attitude and his willingness to let a player development program add more things to his game. The Knicks want a first round draft pick for Shumpert, because they’re probably not getting any with Anthony opting out of his deal at the moment.
Is Shumpert worth a first round draft pick? He was the 17th overall pick by the Knicks in 2011 and he has a very movable contract, making just over $2 million next season. And yet, with cap space being so precious these days making draft picks, especially in what is reviewed as a very stocked draft, more valuable than sketchy veterans, taking on a player that might be out of this league once his contract ends doesn’t sound like a very smart idea.
Phil Jackson took on a bad situation. At least for one season, he has a team that is with players no one wants to trade for and no cap space to make any significant moves. Shumpert isn’t part of the Knicks’ future, and probably not their present. J.R. Smith is a better player and Tim Hardaway Jr. will be pretty soon, with a bit more offensive variety. The Knicks don’t need Shumpert, but probably think too much of him if they’re actually believing anyone will give them a first round draft pick for him.