The Los Angeles Lakers recently called the the New York Knicks to "express their interest in Iman Shumpert," according to ESPN's Chris Broussard. Broussard writes that "no trade is imminent, and sources say the Lakers' call was more about doing their due-diligence."
The Lakers have struggled to keep a healthy point guard rotation. Steve Blake is out at least six weeks and Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar are already on the injured list. As such, Kobe Bryant has taken over lead guard responsibilities.
Bryant is averaging a career-high seven assists, but he's also averaging over six turnovers a game. His field goal attempts per game (10) is nearly half his career average. Bryant is still working back to his old form after a torn Achilles tendon, but his greatest strength has always been in scoring, not facilitating.
Shumpert isn't a traditional point guard by most standards, but he has spent some time playing the position. At 23 years old, his defensive pedigree and upside far exceeds any point guard on the Lakers roster, so it's reasonable to understand the Lakers' interest in him.
It's no secret on the Knicks' end that the team is shopping Shumpert. There were reports a little over a month ago that the Nuggets and Knicks were working a trade that would send the third-year guard to Denver. Recently, there have also been reports that Toronto and New York were working out trade negotiations.
Broussard also reports that the Lakers are interested in Tyson Chandler and are weighing whether or not to propose a Pau Gasol-for-Chandler deal. New York, according to Broussard's sources, isn't interested in moving Chandler, but will be more inclined to do so if a team is willing to take back J.R. Smith. But he reports that the Lakers "aren't likely to be interested in (Smith)" because of his hefty, three-year contract.