Trade rumors have recently been flying around the New York Knicks, specifically regarding second-year guard Iman Shumpert. While it's looking unlikely that Shumpert will be dealt to the Phoenix Suns for Jared Dudley, Knicks star Carmelo Anthony believes these rumors should never have been out there in the first place.
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Anthony told Ian Begley of ESPN New York that he likes the way the team is right now and that there's no reason to be in trade talks before the deadline:
"We don't need to make no moves. No, we're good. ... What are we going to go get? I don't know what we going to go get for (Shumpert)."
"Shump, he ain't going nowhere. He ain't got to worry about that. The Knicks shouldn't even be in trade talks."
Anthony does have some point, as the Knicks are 32-17 and second in the Eastern Conference, only 2½ games behind the Miami Heat. On the other hand, New York is just 11-8 since the start of the new year, and only three of those wins were against teams that currently own winning records. Furthermore, both the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls are set to make a charge with the impending returns of Danny Granger and Derrick Rose from injury.
With Jason Kidd slumping of late, the Knicks are potentially in the market for another shooter, hence the interest in Dudley. The Suns' swingman is shooting 38.9 percent from three this season and is at 40.5 percent for his career.
The issue is that New York does not want to give up Shumpert, who is widely regarded as one of the top young perimeter defenders in the NBA. Having Shumpert would be especially key in a potential series against the Miami Heat, who of course have LeBron James and Dwyane Wade patrolling the wings.
Still, despite his defensive prowess, there are still plenty of questions about Shumpert's offense, which has really struggled in his return from a torn ACL and torn meniscus. He's averaging just 5.3 points on 33.8 percent shooting, although he has made 12-of-28 from three-point land.
The Knicks are in win-now mode, so there may be some in the organization who feel it would be better to trade a young player with high upside like Shumpert for a player who would give the team a better chance at a title this season. It's a tough call, but one that teams often have to make when they are in contention for a championship.