Over the weekend some surprising rumors swirled around the New York Knicks. Iman Shumpert, only 22, was part of trade rumors that had Shump getting sent to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley and a first round pick. The thought in the Knicks office was that they needed to add another shooter to the team, a point that you can’t help but think is 100 percent wrong. Another shooter added to the team? Why?! You have Carmelo Anthony as your main focal point on offense, and he is guaranteed to chuck up at least 30 shots a game! There is JR Smith as your sixth man off of the bench, and he certainly gets shooter happy. You have Steve Novak as your no doubt three point shooter, and you never know if point guard Raymond Felton will be looking to dish out the assists, or looking to shoot 15-20 times a game. Add in the fact that Amare Stoudermire is finally getting back into game shape and has shown offensive moves we haven’t seen before, and how can you say the team needs more offense? The Knicks do shoot cold sometimes, and rely on the three ball and isolation way too much, but that is their game and they have won over 30 games already this year playing like that.
Now you finally have Iman Shumpert back in the Knicks rotation. He is a young, confident and determined player on one of the oldest teams in basketball. The 2012-2013 Knicks are in win now mode, but Shumpert is not only helping this win now mentality, he is also the future. Iman Shumpert, when back to 100 %, is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. When Shump was picked 17th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, there were boos and outcry from the New York media ( Google “Iman Shumpert Draft” to see the hilarious article awful writer Stephen A. Smith wrote saying how terrible this pick was. Well Screaming A. certainly loves Iman now!) Shumpert’s defensive intensity and ability to lock down other teams point guards or shooters made Shump beloved by the Knicks faithful, and no one is calling this pick a bust now.
So trading Shump for a shooter wouldn’t make sense right now. You don’t need every NBA player to play great offense. The Knicks have been struggling a lot on defense lately, something that is surprising head coach Mike Woodson. One great example was a loss against the Washington Wizards recently, in which they couldn’t defend the paint and watched John Wall just slice and dice the Knicks defense apart.
So what to make of these trade rumors? That’s just it, they’re rumors, but it wasn’t a rumor I was expecting to see this quickly. The Knicks need to keep Shump, plain and simple. Carmelo Anthony came out and said Shump shouldn’t have to worry about the rumors, and that this Knicks team doesn’t need a trade. Anthony isn’t the general manager, so the final decision isn’t up to him. But what Anthony said is entirely correct. Stay the course with this team, and let them play in the playoffs with the team they have. They have great chemistry and have shown they can compete with the big boys in the East. Shumpert is an emotional leader on and off the court for the Knicks despite only being 22, and trading the fan favorite high top would be a huge step back for the Knicks.