TOK Roundtable: Should the Knicks Trade Youth for a Superstar?


Carmelo Anthony is officially locked up, but Knicks fans always have their eye on the next move. No offense to Jason Smith, but New York City dreams big, and most fans already have their eye on guys like Kevin Love and Rajon Rondo, who will both be without a contract after next season. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’ll even hit free agency, and teams have already started lining up trade offers. In this edition of the TOK Roundtable, the staff debates whether or not Phil Jackson should give up Iman Shumpert AND Tim Hardaway Jr. to acquire one of these superstars.

Kevin Smith - If you told me that the Knicks had to give up Iman Shmardaway, they mythical fusion between both young studs, that would be a different story, but while I don’t want the organization to trade away their youth and picks for a superstar, I certainly wouldn’t lose any sleep if they did. Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. are nifty rotational players, but they aren’t any better than the Danilo Gallinari-Wilson Chandler combination that everyone was so quick to give up on in order to acquire Carmelo Anthony. Melo is locked in for five years now, and only a few of those will be prime. The Eastern Conference is getter deeper and deeper with each passing day, and if the Knicks swing and miss on any of the 2015 fee agents, they’re going to be a step behind. Even with an added superstar, it will be tough for the team to make the NBA Finals, so the Knicks might as well go all-in while they can. Maybe this is why I don’t play poker.

Aaron Jacobs - If it were really this easy to trade for superstars in the NBA, how could you not be tempted to pull off a trade like this? We kind of know who Iman Shumpert is at this point of his career, or do we? At just 23 years old, Shump still has the chance to become a solid starting shooting-guard in the NBA, or he could be a glorified version of Thabo Sefolosha. Tim Hardaway Jr. has all the potential in the world to be a sharpshooter in the NBA for the next decade plus. We see guys like him all over the league, but does he have star potential? The verdict is still out on that. 

If it took a combination of both players plus a pick for a player the caliber of Kevin Love, I think it would be a no-brainer for the New York Knicks, but given the assets that other teams (i.e. the Cleveland Cavaliers) have to offer, it won’t be that easy to pull of such a trade.  In my honest opinion trading for Rajon Rondo is way riskier given his torn ACL from the season before last and his fit in the triangle offense. So the short answer is for Kevin Love, yes, for Rajon Rondo, no.  It’s no knock on the caliber of player Rondo is, but at this point, I think there are other options that would better fit what the Knicks plan to do in the future. The last thing they need is a long term max contract for an injury prone point guard.

Dave Nowinski – I would not. The Knicks have gone down this road before. To get Melo in 2011, they sacrificed their roster to get a superstar. I think the Knicks would be better off waiting for free agency and making a run at Rondo, Love, or Marc Gasol with a strong roster. If the Knicks have a chance to deal Amar’e or Bargiani though, they have to take that deal to free up salary space, and acquire draft picks and assets. The best way for the Knicks to entice superstars and cultivate their team is to stop trading talented young players away.


Would you trade both Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. for a superstar? Let us know in the comments section below!                 

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One thought on “TOK Roundtable: Should the Knicks Trade Youth for a Superstar?

  1. Dave…

    “To get Melo in 2011, they sacrificed their roster to get a superstar”

    What did they really sacrifice? Do you contend they’d be a better team with those guys?

    It’s the front office’s job to determine if they have any All-Star caliber players on their roster. If they don’t believe those guys are All-Stars, and they can trade them to get one, you do it, every time.

    My own feeling is Shump is likely to be a very good defender, and streaky 3pt shooter. He has the athletic ability to attack the rim, but simply doesn’t do it enough. If you can get a Love, or Rondo, by trading him, you do it.

    Hardaway has NBA range, the question is will he put the work in to become an adequate defender, and dribble penetration threat? I think we need another year to determine that. However, if Minny wanted these 2 for Love, I think you sign up for it in a second.


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