Already on the trading block, Knicks guard Iman Shumpert may have done more to assure his way out of New York after getting in an on-camera disagreement with Carmelo Anthony against the New Orleans Pelicans.
In the third quarter of what would be a 103-99 loss on Sunday, Shumpert and Anthony looked confused as the Pelicans ran a double screen that eventually opened up Ryan Anderson for a made three-pointer. It's unclear what the Knicks were supposed to do defensively, maybe because everything went wrong.
Off the double screen, Anthony switched onto Jrue Holiday, who was the ball handler initially being guarded by Shumpert. Meanwhile, Knicks center Andrea Bargnani fell off his man, Jason Smith, and into the paint to stop penetration that just wasn't there. As Anthony and Shumpert both chased Holiday coming off the screens, the two New Orleans bigs, Anderson and Smith, drifted to the perimeter unguarded. Shumpert, seemingly surprised that Anthony switched onto Holiday completely, reacted late and attempted to challenge Anderson's shot, but he ran into a screen set by Smith and picked up a foul on top of the made three.
The result was Shumpert attempting to talk strategy with Anthony at the next break.
Afterward, Shumpert called the play a "miscommunication" on the defensive end, while Anthony refused to comment on the play, according to the New York Post. Shumpert finished with seven points and seven rebounds but didn't return to the game after the defensive mishap. In his place, rookie Tim Hardaway Jr. finished out the game and by the end had 21 points thanks to five made three-pointers.
Shumpert has been rumored as a trade chip in deals involving Denver, Sacramento and Cleveland. Knicks coach Mike Woodson has maintained he has no distaste for the third-year guard out of Georgia Tech, who has remained in the starting lineup.
With New York off to a 3-13 start, Shumpert's involvement in trade rumors is more clearly due to him being one of the few moveable assets on the salary-heavy roster. And with Hardaway developing quickly, it's possible the Knicks would be more comfortable moving their current shooting guard.