Okay, we should probably be taking this “news” in as low-sodium a manner possible, especially considering the source–one Franklin Q. Isola. But evidently there’s some chatter in the winds about the Knicks and Nuggets discussing an Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried swap:
Talks between the Knicks and Nuggets centered around a deal that would send Iman Shumpert to Denver for forward Kenneth Faried have intensified in recent days, the Daily News has learned. According to a league source, no deal is imminent although the struggling Knicks feel they need to make a move to bolster their banged up front court. Tyson Chandler is out at least one month after breaking his leg last week while both Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin have been placed on a minute’s restriction because if their health. Shumpert, a former first pick, has fallen out of favor with both head coach Mike Woodson and owner James Dolan. And with J.R. Smith promoted to the starting lineup at shooting guard for Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, Shumpert will likely lose his starting spot once Chandler returns. Faried, a native of Newark, N.J., is an undersized power forward but his work rate makes him one of the NBA’s top rebounders.
Now, there’s zero way of knowing how much of this is actually true. Teams (even wildly dysfunctional ones like our Knickerbockers) get on the blower and chew the fat all the time. Talks may have progressed beyond that or it may have just been babbling about Dolan’s rock and/or roll tour with the Eagles, that nutty DiBlasio feller that’s going to turn the clock back on NYC, reducing it to a dystopic hellscape worse than Walter Hill’s “The Warriors” as soon as he gets his grubby, redistributive, unseemly, gag-inducing multl-ethnic family ensconced in Gracie Mansion or the numerous fracking bans that have been enacted in Colorado, when Kroenke and Jimmy started kvetching about their underperforming young talents, and wouldn’t a Strangers on a Train-type solution possibly help both foundering teams?
But let’s assume for the moment that there is merit to all this.. As much as I loooooooove me some Manimal, I can’t for the life of me see how this deal makes sense. It locks Melo in at SF, adds yet another non-floor spacing (Faried’s terrible further than 8′ from the hoop), sub-par defending big to the rotation and banishes the two-PG look to that glass contraption that Jor El used to entrap General Zod et al in the Phantom Zone. Whaddayouse think, Kevin?
Kevin McElroy: It’s funny (EDITOR’S NOTE: None of this is remotely funny, unless you’re a fan of really black comedy.): the Knicks are deep on the wing and soft in the middle so on face, swapping Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried is something that might seem to make some sense. If the deal were imminent (or done) I’d have a lot more to say about it. Since this is probably just idle speculation at this point, though, three things:
1) Shumpert has shown a diverse enough offensive skill set this year to make me believe that he’s going to be a more complete player than Faried at his peak.
2) The Knicks should be going small with Melo at the four. We know this. Faried is primarily a four and his defense (while occasionally spectacular) has not reached the level of maturity necessary to indicate that he could anchor the middle of a defense that doesn’t have another big. Trading Shump is a big price to pay on a bet that Faried could turn into a competent five.
3) I’ve heard a million trade rumors involving Shumpert in the past few years. I have liked basically none of them. I don’t like this one either but I hate it less than the majority of the others (at least Faried is young and sortakinda meets a need). If you assume we’re eventually trading Shump whether it makes sense to or not, this would at least not be the worst case scenario. Does that mean I hope they do it? No. It just means I hope this indicates a shift away from answering every challenge by getting older and pricier.
NON-SCIENTIFIC BONUS OPINION TO PROVE THAT “KEVIN MCELROY” IS NOT JUST THE NAME OF A COMPUTER PROGRAM JIM CAVAN WROTE TO ANALYZE BASKETBALL TRANSACTIONS AND RANDOMLY GENERATE SENTENCES ABOUT THE MERITS OF TWO-PG LINEUPS: I like Shump. You like Shump. He’s our guy. We shouldn’t trade him unless there’s a really good reason to. This isn’t a good enough reason. And that’s before the inevitable news that we also included a second rounder to get the deal done. This is probably a non-story. Let’s hope it’s a non-story.
Robert Silverman: Yeah, I agree . Odds are this is, like the Shump-Dudley, Shump-Redick, Shump-Luke Ridnour rumors, much ado about nothing. And given the quality of the return, it’s not a godawful trade, but it reeks of a panic move in the midst of an admittedly panicky, no-fun early season blight.
In sum: it’s Knicktown, Jake.
[UPDATE: 3PM] “Denver is also seeking draft compensation in addition to Shumpert in exchange for Faried.” BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY ARE.
[UPDATE: 6PM] Woj-bombed:
Denver has made it clear to Kenneth Faried's reps: There are no active talks involving him. Knicks offered Shumpert. Denver rejected idea.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) November 13, 2013