The NBA trade rumor-mill is at full capacity as we come up on the trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow. One team that’s been at the center of the those rumors, is a Knicks team that’s scrambling to make the playoffs and appease star Carmelo Anthony before he opts-out of his contract at the end of the year. It seems the Knicks brain trust is actively shopping fan favorite Iman Shumpert, but only if teams are willing to take the under-performing Raymond Felton. Even former Knicks PG Jeremy Lin has been drawn into the mix.
The Knicks are trying to upgrade their backcourt as they come up on the stretch run for a possible spot in the 2014 NBA Playoffs. That means guards Felton, backup Beno Udrih and and wing Iman Shumpert, are expendable (Pablo Prigioni has not been included in any deals, so far, and neither has exciting rookie Tim Hardaway Jr.).
In fact, most of the rumors involve the Knicks pairing Shumpert, who has drawn heavy interest around the Association, with Felton for any deal that transpires.
ESPN’s Chad Ford [Insider only], mentioned Lin as a possible Knicks candidate, despite New York’s reluctance to match Houston’s poison-pill contract for Lin in the summer of 2012 â€” fresh off his remarkable storybook run from scrub to star that spring. That’s how much New York wants to get rid of Felton, who has seen his production drop off a cliff this year.
According to Marc Stein, by way of Ford, Lin is a possibility since Patrick Beverley (rightfully in our minds) took his starting job. But Ford also says Houston GM Daryl Morey isn’t quite ready to unload Lin, believing his scoring off the bench for Houston could be integral for them moving forward. But all this doesn’t change the fact New York is desperately trying to get rid of Felton, and they’re willing to use all the interest in Shumpert to get a deal done.
Now there are new rumors, by way of Chris Broussard and Ian Begley of ESPN NewYork, the Knicks might deal Felton and Shumpert to the Clippers in exchange for backup point guard Darren Collison. In order to make the contracts work, the Clippers might have to unload rookie Reggie Bullock or Jared Dudley, though Dudley isn’t necessary to make the numbers match.
But Ken Berger of CBSSports.com, says two people involved in the discussions say the deal is “not likely” to happen, per Twitter:
I don't see this Shumpert-Collison deal happening, and neither do two people involved in it. "Not likely," they both said.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) February 19, 2014
Sean Deveney of the Sporting News, mentions how much Clippers coach Doc Rivers loves Collison, who fell out of favor with Mavs coach Rick Carlisle last year, which is why Dallas didn’t pick up its option on the guard over the summer.
Should be noted, Doc Rivers has expressed his love for Darren Collison many times this year
— Sean Deveney (@SeanDeveney) February 19, 2014
The Knicks are scrambling to get backcourt help, but whether they find terms for Iman Shumpert depends on a team’s willingness to take Felton as well.
The 29-year-old Felton has seen his numbers drop across the table in his ninth year and second with the Knicks. His shooting percentage barely cracks 40 percent and he’s at a woeful 29.7 from beyond the arc this season. His 12.3 PER this season is a career-low and that includes his bloated year with the Trail Blazers. If the Knicks unload Shumpert over the next 22 hours, it’ll have to be attached to Felton, who is in the second year of a three-year, $10 million deal he signed in the summer of 2012 when the Knicks let Lin walk to Houston.
Just another day with your 2013-14 New York Knicks, and if you don’t think Carmelo Anthony is watching this trade season unfold, then you haven’t been paying attention.
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