According to Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld, the New York Knicks have interest in Phoenix Suns shooting guard, Jared Dudley. Kennedy doesn’t mention any potential offer the Knicks would present to the Suns, nor does he confirm the Knicks have had internal discussions of a swap. All Kennedy says is that the Knicks are interested in Dudley.
In a realistic world, the only player the Knicks have that would interest the Suns is Iman Shumpert. If you turn back the clocks to this past summer, the Suns showed interest in Iman Shumpert in a potential Steve Nash sign-and-trade. I could see the Knicks dangling Shumpert for Dudley and a first round draft pick, which, in my mind, would be a pretty attractive deal for both sides.
Now, Shumpert is one of my favorite Knicks, but if this trade presented itself, I’d likely accept it. Here are some quick thoughts:
First off, J.R. Smith has played some great basketball with Stoudemire/Melo. Playing off the ball, he’s knocking down the open jumper and on defense he’s doing a good job, too. The Knicks will have J.R.’s early bird-rights this off-season, and since we know J.R. loves New York, he’ll likely be back. While Shumpert is touted as a better defender, he and Smith are quite similar, with the offensive game leaning in Smith’s favor.
Additionally, Mike Woodson has failed to use Iman Shumpert to defend against opposing point guards — a position that has continuously slaughtered the Knicks.
If Woodson refuses to use Shumpert to lock down opposing point guards, dealing him for Dudley makes sense (especially if a draft pick is received, too), since his quick defensive skills won’t be used. He’ll just become another above average defender, but not a lock-down guy, since they’re not using him where he’s best.
A deal is still a ways away, but those are just some initial thoughts. If Dudley and a first for Shumpert was on the table, would you accept?