The New York Knicks have wisely picked up Iman Shumpert‘s contract option, keeping him in orange and blue through the end of the 2014-15 season. The third-year guard has been the Knicks’ best young talent, and on a team mostly filled with players either in or past their prime, his potential for improvement (and the improvements he’s already shown) makes him a key part of the Knicks’ future.
Picking up his contract option is also a sign of good faith, and Knicks fans can once again breathe easy after offseason rumors that James Dolan nearly demanded that Shump be traded after missing a few Summer League games.
Shump, now entering his third season, is coming off a very strong postseason performance, shooting 42.9 percent from deep in the 2013 playoffs while providing strong rebounding and his usual excellent man-to-man defense. When he was drafted back in 2011, he made an immediate impact on the defensive end but his offensive game was extremely raw. Now, he’s found a way to complement his athleticism with a very good outside shooting stroke, making him one of the league’s premier “D-and-3” guys. He’ll also be producing at a high level for New York while on a very cheap contract, a necessity for a team so far past the luxury tax.
Shumpert is the team’s best two-way guard and may very well be the team’s best three-point shooter this season. The Knicks made the right choice in exercising his option early before it could become a distraction. They’ll need Shump to be at his best if they hope to advance in the playoffs this season.