Trade talks between the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers heated up on Thursday just before the NBA trade deadline. With a glaring need at the point guard position, New York needed to do something to improve the backcourt. But 3 p.m. EST came and went without a sound from the Knicks, and Iman Shumpert‘s mildly sprained MCL played a huge part in the lack of a trade.
Shumpert underwent an MRI on Thursday, and in the hours leading up to the trade deadline it wasn’t clear how severe his knee injury was. It turns out that it’s mildly sprained and could keep Shumpert off the court for two weeks. Whether teams knew the extent of the injury or not, concern about the knee certainly prevented a trade from happening. Teams were reluctant to give up value in exchange for a player who could be missing playing time right off the bat.
The Knicks were also rumored to be after Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks, Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors and even their old friend Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets. It would have caused quite a stir if the Knicks were able to bring Linsanity back to New York, but even if there was a chance of landing him, they just didn’t have enough pieces to make the trade. The Teague and Lowry trade possibilities were also out of the question once Shumpert left the court on Wednesday night.
For the rest of the season, the Knicks will be stuck with Raymond Felton who has looked dreadful most of the season. Pablo Prigioni is streaky but can be an adequate backup. The problem is, Prigioni is getting more minutes than he should because of how terribly Felton has played. It’s unclear why Beno Udrih hasn’t played since Jan. 24, but perhaps coach Mike Woodson needs to insert him at some point in the coming games. Give him a chance and see what he can do. At this point, the Knicks need to work with what they have and that includes giving Udrih some minutes.
Regardless of this season’s outcome for New York, they will clearly be busy in free agency this summer. They need to first figure out what to do with Carmelo Anthony. If the Knicks decide to give Anthony a long-term deal, they must figure out how to surround him with players who complement his game. Lowry of Toronto is still a possible option as he is a free agent this summer. Other options include Mario Chalmers or Eric Bledsoe who are both unrestricted free agents. Without question, the 2014-15 Knicks will look a lot different than they do today.