The never-ending rebuilding of the New York Knicks continues.
Days after reports surfaced that the team was preparing to pursue Kevin Love in free agency in 2015 and a week after Tyson Chandler went down with a broken leg, the Knicks are once again looking to create news with their ever-shifting roster. The Knicks and Nuggets have been in talks about trading Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried, the New York Daily News reports, in a move that would shake up both foundering squads.
“Shumpert, who was taken six spots ahead of Faried in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft, has fallen out of favor with both head coach Mike Woodson and owner James Dolan,” Frank Isola writes. “And with J.R. Smith promoted to the starting lineup at shooting guard for Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, Shumpert will likely lose his starting spot once Chandler returns.”
Shumpert, 23, is New York’s best perimeter defender and arguably their second-best healthy player with Chandler sidelined. But with just two years and roughly $4.3 million remaining on Shumpert’s contract, the Knicks have much less invested in him than Smith, whom they just re-signed to a three-year, $17.9 million contract this offseason. (Using the Knicks’ logic, that makes Shumpert expendable and Smith untouchable, in direct contrast to how every other team views the value and affordability of their players’ contracts.)
Faried, 23, has blossomed since the Nuggets took him with the 22nd pick in 2011 out of Morehead State. He leads Denver with 8.5 rebounds per game and is ninth in the NBA this season with a 19.2 rebounding percentage. Shumpert, a third-year pro out of Georgia Tech, is averaging a career-high 9.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this season. But he has scored just eight points total in the Knicks’ last two games and played a season-low 22 minutes in Monday’s loss to the Spurs.