It’s been no secret that the Phoenix Suns are interested in a “franchise” shooting guard, and this time, they’re looking to the Big Apple to find him.
After missing on Eric Gordon and O.J. Mayo over the summer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Phoenix is interested in New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert.
The Suns are willing to give New York a package that includes forward Jared Dudley and possibly a future first-round pick for Shumpert, but the Knicks have so far shown no inclination to do such a deal.
This isn’t the first time the Suns have tried to pry the Shumpert away from the Knicks. They once offered a deal including then-Suns guard Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade, but the Knicks went with Raymond Felton. Coming back from an ACL injury in the playoffs, Shumpert is having a rough year playing a smaller role for his team. He’s averaging 5.6 points (34 percent shooting) and 3.3 rebounds in 11 games . Despite his rough return, Shump is one of the more promising young shooting guards in the NBA and if he remains healthy and improves offensively, he could be one of the best.
With the core of Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire, all whom are over the age of 28, the Knicks are in win-now mode. If you swap Shumpert and Dudley, the Knicks would be walked away with a player who’s a better defender, a smarter defender and a quality three-point shooter. His presence against Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Paul George or Paul Pierce would be huge especially if Mike Woodson continues to play Carmelo Anthony at the four position.
It’s not clear what the Suns are trying to do as an organization. At the moment, they are the worst team in the Western Conference at 17-34, and have won 4-6 of their last ten. They have been rumored in multiple trades this season to bring in a “star”, but they’ve failed so far. Marcin Gortat and Jared Dudley have been their biggest trade pieces, but teams have yet to bite. After getting their max contract offer to Eric Gordon matched by the New Orleans Hornets, the team hasn’t had a solid direction. They brought in Michael Beasley and Wesley Johnson in the off-season to give their team a boost, but by the looks of things, they’ll be lottery-bound this season.
With Shumpert being the best young piece the Knicks have, it won’t be likely that the they would give up on him quickly, though Dudley would be a solid veteran in that locker room and on the court.