Iman Shumpert-To-Suns Trade Unlikely, Source Says
By Ian Begley | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- The New York Knicks are listening to trade offers for Iman Shumpert, but a team source said a deal that would send the second-year guard to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley as part of a multiplayer package is "unlikely at this point."
Knicks coach Mike Woodson downplayed the situation when asked about it Sunday.
"Those are just trade rumors," he said.
The Suns have shown interest in acquiring Shumpert, a league source confirmed.
The Suns' interest in Shumpert and their willingness to include Dudley in a deal was first reported by Yahoo! Sports on Saturday night.
The Knicks have been monitoring the trade market for a shooter in recent weeks, but there is a faction in the organization opposed to giving up Shumpert, who is widely viewed as one of the top young perimeter defenders in the league.
"We've got a lot of faith in him," Woodson said Sunday. "Again, his lateral movement is not where I think it should be and his timing is off a little bit, and that's expected. I mean, we're not playing him big minutes because he's somewhat still on restricted minutes as well. So we're going to continue to nurse him and bring him along slowly, and he'll be fine. When it counts, he'll be there I think."
One team source characterized the Knicks' listening to the Suns' offer as the team performing its due diligence as the trade deadline nears.
Still, the same team source said not everyone in the organization is convinced of Shumpert's long-term value to the Knicks.
Shumpert, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound guard, suffered a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee during the 2012 playoffs. He returned from a near-eight-month rehab last month.
This is not the first time the Suns have shown interest in Shumpert. Phoenix requested the Knicks include him in a sign-and-trade package for then-Suns guard Steve Nash last summer.
The Knicks enter play Sunday in first place in the Atlantic Division, four games ahead of Brooklyn. They are 1½ games behind first-place Miami in the Eastern Conference.
The Knicks are the oldest team in the league, and coach Mike Woodson and general manager Glen Grunwald have said they are dealing with a finite window to compete for an NBA title.
Dudley could help them offensively. He is a career 40 percent 3-point shooter and is averaging 11.8 points in 29.8 minutes this season.
The Knicks have relied heavily on the 3-point shot this season. They lead the NBA in made 3s per game (11.2) and attempted 3s per game (29.2) and rank fifth in 3-point shooting percentage (38.3).
Shumpert is a career 32.4 percent 3-point shooter. He has made 12-of-28 attempts (42.9 percent) from beyond the arc in 11 games this season.
The Knicks also have monitored Orlando sharpshooter J.J. Redick, according to a league source.
The Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls are among a bevy of teams believed to have strong interest in Redick.
The Knicks would undoubtedly be losing something on defense if they dealt Shumpert, of whom Woodson has been highly complimentary.
New York has struggled on defense for the past two months, particularly on the perimeter, and Shumpert was viewed as a solution to some of those woes.