With the February 21st trade deadline on the horizon in the National Basketball Association, talks of adjusting rosters and making moves heats up dramatically. The closer we get to the final hour, the more desperate owners and general managers react to finding the missing piece to their championship puzzle. With the clock ticking, we as fans truly get to see how much the different NBA franchises value their up and coming draft picks, as well as the savvy veterans with often lucrative contracts.
The New York Knicks have lost three of their last four games going into the All-Star Break, two of those teams being the Toronto Raptors and Washington Wizards, causing an array of criticism from fans. So the question has been brewing more everyday. Should the Knicks consider trading Iman Shumpert for Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap or anybody else for that matter?
Now I know the Knicks can certainly use some help on the glass, and it wouldn’t hurt for them to add a post presence on top of that. But whether Knick fans like it or not, Amare Stoudemire and his $20 million dollar contract aren’t going anywhere. In fact, I believe Amare has embraced the bench role, and for the most part he’s been very efficient. With Amare playing hard for the 25 minutes a game he gets, and Carmelo playing the power forward in a small ball lineup, I think the Knicks are just fine. As for getting help on the glass, that’s just pure effort. Somebody in a Knicks uniform not named Tyson Chandler needs to get off the three-point line and crash the boards once in awhile.
One of the biggest questions swirling in these trade talks is whether or not Shumpert can get back to 100% following his torn ACL late last season. Patience, everyone. This kid is a 22-year-old workhorse, and he’s got the attitude and swagger any coach would want on their team. Not to mention he’s one of the best on-ball-defenders we have in the NBA right now.
So why has Shumpert been unproductive of late? The oppurtunity has been limited, due to Head Coach Mike Woodson’s short rotation. We have now seen Ronnie Brewer buried on the bench, with guys like Steve Novak, Chris Copeland and Shumpert losing minutes on a regular basis. Woodson has done a spectacular job since taking over the Knicks, but I think he should start opening up the rotation more. Playing Jason Kidd for over 30 minutes a game, at 39-years-old, putting up stats along the lines of 0 points and three assists, just can’t happen nightly.
So are there any moves the Knicks should be looking to make, or any players they should be targeting? I really don’t see too much opportunity as of now, considering the present market. The Knicks are currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference, and they got there for a reason. I’m all for any team making a trade to better the team, no matter what the cost, but I don’t feel that’s the case for the Knicks. The Knicks are as deep as any team in the league, and it’s vital they take advantage of that depth. Give Raymond Felton and Shumpert time to get back into game shape, continue to put forth the effort on the defensive end, and most important of all, keep feeding the beast. Carmelo Anthony.