Let me start this by saying that Iman Shumpert is one of my favorite players on the Knicks. Of course, should he be traded, I’ll continue to root for him, but this piece considers the team as a whole.
The 2013 NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching, and as each day passes, more and more rumors spawn. For the Knicks, each and every one of these rumors involve second year guard, Iman Shumpert, who is just a few weeks back from an ACL injury. Shumpert has been thought of as the future of the franchise, as he’s the youngest player on the roster and has a high ceiling. At this point, there’s no real telling how high Shumpert’s ceiling is, but I’m here to argue that that tidbit of information doesn’t mean anything.
The question isn’t how good Shumpert can be, though many fans will be pondering that. The question for the Knicks is can Iman Shumpert help the team more this year more than a player added in a trade.
This past summer, the Knicks committed to winning now even more so than before. This all began a year and a half ago, when they parted ways with three young talents (Gallinari, Chandler and Mosgov) in a trade for Carmelo Anthony, which was the first ball to drop. Then they decided to not re-sign Jeremy Lin and signed a free-agent crop of aged veterans this year.
While Shumpert is a very exciting player, the Knicks’ roster is not build for the long haul. Several of the guys have just a season or two left in the tank, and they’re going all out for a Championship run.
If the Knicks decide to keep Shumpert, a move that several fans would understand, they’d be veering from the path they’ve already invested so heavily in. While Shumpert is an exciting project, there are players on the market that the Knicks could leverage Shumpert’s ceiling for, who would ultimately help the team out more.
Now, I’m not the General Manager of the Knicks, so, of course, it’s not up to me to decide wether a potential trade benefits the team more than Shumpert, but that’s the question the front office has to ask themselves.
If a trade for a more experienced player that can help the Knicks get closer to the Championship this year (i.e., in my opinion, Redick/Dudley) presents itself, they have to accept it. The Knicks are in valuable position in that they have a young, valuable guard on their roster who they can deal for a player of a higher current value now. As you know, potential is big in this league. Since the Knicks have committed to a strategy without youth in mind, it’s time for them to part ways with the last enticing trade chip they have, in hopes of furthering the team’s post-season success this year.