Should The Knicks Trade Iman Shumpert?


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.


    I love Shump and I feel that he def needs more time to get back to full strength from that knee injury, but it’s hard to argue the points that Jonah made in this article…….having said that I would prefer a Millsap type back instead.

    • Jonah Kaner

      The front line is already crowded with Melo/Amare/Tyson and Millsap is too undersized to play backup center. I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think he’s a great fit for the team.

  • riteaid

    I rather keep Shump but if we’re going to trade him it has to be for a two way player and a first round draft pick. Defense is the issue especially backcourt and horrible P&R defense. Scoring is not the issue for us, ball movement and running plays is another subject but, If we sure up the D we could be a very dangerous team.

  • Michael

    Thinking that Reddick or Dudley help us more now than Iman is not correct. Thinking we should trade him in order to win now is also not correct, as he will be the best Defender on this team as he recovers to whatever level he can off of knee surgery. The arguments in this article are flawed in those two measures. Iman is better than Riddick by a long shot, and Dudley even more so.

    • Jonah Kaner

      Woodson has shown no interest in playing Shumpert on point guards, where his defensive skills will shine through the most. If he’s not played correctly, his value to this team goes down, no matter how good of a natural defender he is.

  • bert

    Reddick is a darn good defender and good from 3 point range and is young. I would trade shumpert if we could unload Novak

  • geoAZ

    Jonah, respectfully, but firmly disagree !! While the Knicks are built for the “short-term”, it’s not absolutely “this” year. Camby and Kidd have 3 year deals and Sheed has 2 and while I’m the only one of the 4 getting younger, in Woodrow’s grand design, minutes should be sparse for all. As this site has noted, ad infinitum and very correctly, defense is still critical, despite an observation on yesterday’s post that the 5 or 6, can’t actually remember, prima facie proof of my youthful advance, offensive teams are leading their respective divisions. Having said, no wrote that, Shumpert is significantly better defensively than Reddick, no need to overwhelm me with statistics, particularly on the perimeter, where I could actually see Woodrow going to a Shump, JR, backcourt, against certain ultra quick backcourts, giving Ray a rest. In addition as rotations get shorter and shot clocks longer in playoff mode, “Melo will be taking much of Reddick’s, Shumps and Novak’s shots, further reducing Reddick’s offensive effectiveness. Novak will be just as effective as Reddick, in drawing a defender, if ‘Melo is shooting anyway. As noted, Shump’s ceiling “appears” higher right now and his current play is more than adequate for winning this year. The underlying question re: Shumpert is where does he play going forward. He should not be at the 3, nor ‘Melo the 4, the lineup needs to include another “big” and that will likely be Sheed or Camby, but if not, then Glen has to look around.

    • Jonah Kaner

      With your first point, I agree. I worded it poorly in the article. If the Knicks traded for Redick, though, they’d have his bird-rights, which would allow for them to sign him for the foreseeable future.

      I also agree with your second point. If Woodson chooses not to use Shumpert to guard guards, the team is misusing him and I think a player like Redick would be more valuable. There’s no way Woodson would put Redick on threes and his offensive game would help spread the floor.