Well, if you told me we would be considering this after his run in the Texas Triangle I would have assumed it was just because James Dolan hated him. The truth is though that trading Shumpert doesn’t seem as crazy, or as lucrative, as it did just weeks ago. And with the trade deadline just days away, the New York Knicks rumors are heating up.
Iman Shumpert is having the worst year of his short career as a whole this season. He has had some bright spots, the aforementioned play against Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio included but he has more than offset that with some mediocre to bad basketball.
To start, according to 82games.com, Shumpert is not doing a very good job defending his man. When playing shooting guard or small forward, Shumpert is surrendering a 18.3 and 18.5 PER per 48 minutes respectively to those positions. To put it another way, he is hardly a lock down defender. His on/off splits are actually quite good, with the team giving up about eight less points per game with Shumpert on the court but considering how poorly he defends his man it remains to be seen how telling that is of his impact.
On offense he has turned into almost entirely a three point shooter, taking about half of his field goal attempts from three (3.3 of 6.5) but his percentage is down 4% from last year (40.2-35.8%). He also shoots poorly from everywhere on the court but three zones. He shoots well at the basket on both sides and from the right corner three. Every other spot on the floor Shumpert has less a chance of making a shot than your average NBA player.
If you mix in these shooting stats with a net PER of about -7 when he plays either wing position and his overall PER is 9.9, Jared Jeffries level, and Shumpert’s season seems all the less attractive.
With all that being said, the Knicks shouldn’t trade Shumpert at the deadline. His value can’t dip too much lower than it is so there isn’t that much of a reason to jump at a deal now. There are rumors that Coach Mike Woodson may be fired sooner rather than later and if so that could aid Shumpert. The Knicks front office have been claiming to other teams that Shumpert is having a down season because Woodson is managing the rotation poorly (the managing part is a fact) so maybe a different coach and role could help Shumpert in the second half.
The other reason it is important to wait is that only if Carmelo Anthony stays does Shumpert really need to be traded. If Anthony stays the only way the Knicks can get a max player the year after is they let Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire, Andrea Bargnani, and Shumpert come off the books and leave. I’ve already said they should consider trading Chandler, especially if they blow this up, ad STAT and Bargnani have no trade value so they have to just leave.
If Anthony realizes that this team is doomed to long term mediocrity at best as long as Dolan is the owner and bolts for greener pastures, the urgency to trade Shumpert becomes much less. The Knicks could try and resign him on the cheap in 2015, still land a max player, and grab their inevitable lottery pick that thankfully they’re not allowed to trade.
Shumpert is a young, talented, and sometimes frustrating wing player so far. Though many thought at this point he would be better he still has talent and value for most teams. Trading him now would be a mistake that has Dolan written all over it.