When the 2014 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, as things stand right now it will take place without any participation from the New York Knicks.
Knicks team president Phil Jackson is looking to change that fact.
Rumored to be dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a first-round pick at last season’s trade deadline, it looks like Iman Shumpert is being dangled to the Thunder once again.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is one of many that have reported that the Knicks have been looking to dangle Shump in order to sneak into the first round.
One player the Knicks have been seriously linked to is former North Carolina guard P.J. Hairston, but there’s a good chance he could be off the board if the Knicks are able to strike a deal with the Thunder.
Shumpert has one year left on his rookie contract, and will require far more money to stay in New York, something the Knicks are unlikely to commit to. That alone makes moving Shumpert now a smart move if Jackson can pull it off.
While many Knicks fans love Shumpert’s defensive abilities, his offensive game has not come around like many would have hoped for and there are serious doubts that it ever will. He also would not be a good fit in the Knicks new triangle offense, which will be installed this summer.
The Knicks came close to a deadline deal that would have sent Shumpert to the Los Angeles Clippers at the deadline, and they rejected another proposal from the Thunder around the same time.
It looked like a foolish move by the Knicks then and looks even worse now.
The Thunder have picks Nos. 21 and 29, and the Clippers hold No. 28, but it’s unclear if either team would be willing to give those picks up at this point for Shumpert.
Shumpert, who turns 24 on draft day, averaged 6.7 points on 37.8% shooting this past season, both career lows.
If Jackson is unable to move Shumpert by draft day, it will likely be another season filled with Shumpert trade rumors, which is something that really got into his head last season.