The New York Knicks are desperate to make a move before the trading deadline, rekindling their efforts to get Kenneth Faried from the Denver Nuggets while using Iman Shumpert as their bait. It didn’t work the first time they’ve tried it, so what has changed?
Not much to be honest. The Nuggets turned down the offer earlier this season because they wanted more than just Shumpert in the deal – a draft pick for example, not that the Knicks have too much to give. Making it a straight up deal didn’t make much sense then, and not much now. Faried isn’t the perfect player, especially on defense, and is going to expect a raise after next season when his rookie deal ends. However, Shumpert doesn’t bring them something new to the table, coming on the same rookie deal that expires in 2015.
A poor man’s Andre Iguodala is how the Knicks are trying to market him, but Shumpert isn’t a good enough shooter (38.1% from the field, 35.4% from three) to make the Nuggets think of him as better than Evan Fournier or any other guard they have. Faried is much more useful to the Knicks who need a lot of help in the frontcourt, averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounder per game, and will benefit if he doesn’t play next to someone like Hickson, who is pretty much the same player.
The Knicks are also trying to create more playing time for Tim Hardaway Jr, who is a much better shooter than Shumpert ever showed to be, and will probably start scoring more than 9.2 a game if he takes over the playing time Shumpert is getting, sharing it with J.R. Smith.
For the Knicks, there are plenty of reasons to want this deal to work. For the Nuggets, not so much, which is why the current constellation isn’t going to work, and someone is going to have to change the intangibles of this deal in order for it to go through.