New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert can feel Dion Waiters pain.
Similar to the way Shumpert’s name has made its way through the rumor mill, the Cleveland Cavaliers young guard is the latest player to find himself on the block and according to reports the Knicks are one of the teams interested in the former Syracuse product.
But how interested are they?
Judging by the current needs on this team, I can’t imagine the interest being great.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Cavs have reached out to the Knicks about a possible Waiters for Shumpert deal, but the Knicks currently aren’t exploring the idea.
According to Broussard, the Cavs have interest in Luol Deng, and are believed to have reached out to clubs besides the Bulls, Knicks, and 76ers. While Shumpert would appear to be the obvious trade candidate for the Knicks, New York is “not interested” in such a deal for now.
That makes sense as the Knicks biggest need in frontcourt help and as long as J.R. Smith struggles and receives major minutes and Tim Hardaway Jr. is struggling for minutes, it makes little sense for the Knicks to include Shump in a potential trade that would bring them back another shooting guard.
That sentiment is echoed by the New York Post’s Marc Berman who wrote:
The Knicks aren’t interested in Waiters as they are looking for frontcourt help, not another shooting guard.
Waiters, the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft, is talented but has struggled so far to find his touch in the NBA.
In 74 career games, Waiters boasts a career scoring average of 14.5 points per game and has improved his long-range shooting this year. While he’s only shooting 39.9 percent from the floor this season, down from 41.2 percent last season, he is knocking down 40.9 percent of his attempts from behind the arc, which is a drastic improvement from the 31 percent he drained as a rookie.
Waiters is likely a better offensive player than Shumpert right now and his offensive game gives him a little more upside for the future.
But while he may be an upgrade over Shumpert, who has struggled offensively throughout his three-year NBA career, the gap between them isn’t significant enough at the offensive end where I would consider making this swap. Add in the fact that Shumpert is a much better defensive guard and this deal should be shot down and never brought up again unless Waiters would be part of a bigger package that would bring in other pieces to help the Knicks out.
Given the fact that the Cavs aren’t going to bring in salary as they are looking to land free agents the next couple of years, this is a deal that shouldn’t be thought of again.