The New York Knicks had until Halloween to pick up the fourth-year option on Iman Shumpert’s rookie contract, but much to the delight of fans, they announced today that they’ve officially picked it up. Via the Knicks’ Public Relations Twitter account:
By picking up the option, the Knicks now secure him through the 2014-15 season, postponing his free agency for one more year.
Fans have come to the defense of Shumpert in recent months and understandably so. A video leaked over the summer that showed ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith talking to Dwight Howard about how Jim Dolan want to trade Shumpert because of his lack of exuberance to play in the Las Vegas Summer League. After that passed, Knicks fans have also defended Shumpert as the deserving starting guard for the Knicks over Mike Woodson’s suggestion that J.R. Smith may get the opportunity.
Shumpert, of course, takes it all in stride, but there’s fairly concrete proof that his presence has a positive effect on the Knicks. He’s their best wing defender, capable of harassing ball-handlers, positions one through three, and as of late, he’s developed into one of the Knicks’ most consistent three-point shooters. His game is still somewhat raw, but his potential is intriguing. His rookie deal is very fair on the team’s salary cap, and the Knicks would be foolish to let a potential building block walk into free agency,
Here’s hoping that Shumpert stays in a Knicks uniform for a long time.
Follow Scott Davis on Twitter.