Rumor has it that there are talks surrounding the future of Knicks guard Iman Shumpert. The Phoenix Suns who are still mourning the loss of Steve Nash are looking for assets to start rebuilding with and Iman Shumpert has caught their eye. Shumpert, the 6’5, 220 pound shooting guard from Georgia Tech made the All NBA 1st Rookie Team last year and just came back from ACL surgery and is currently averaging 6 points and 2 assists in limited minutes for the Knicks. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and a guy that keeps the Knicks’ perimeter defense intact. He’s also shooting 42% from three this season, (12-28 in 11 games this season.)
Jared Dudley is a scoring guard who has been one of the rare bright spots on occasion for the Suns this season. He is averaging 12 points a game on 39% shooting from behind the arc. He would fit the Knicks’ style of play relatively well due to his shooting prowess and his ability to spread the floor for them. However, I don’t think that they need another scorer/shooter. They have so many pure shooters on their roster already including Carmelo, J.R, Novak, Kidd, Copeland, and even Prigioni has shot the three very well of late. They have enough guys to spread the floor and adding Dudley would just make it hard for them to give everybody minutes off the bench.
Additionally, with the loss of Shumpert they lose their best perimeter defender and the guy who would lockdown opposing point guards and shooting guards around the league. He keeps them locked down on the outside, and at the young age of 22 he has a lot of room to grow and to be groomed into a strong offensive threat. To give up on him this early means not only giving up on a potential x factor down the line, but you give up a part of your perimeter defense that really needs Shumpert’s aggression. The Knicks’ defense has been very weak of late after being one of the best early on in the season.
The contracts of Dudley and Shumpert don’t work out in terms of cap. To get Dudley to New York the Knicks would have to give up a combination of three players, the best probably being Shumpert, Thomas and Copeland. Why would they want to do that just to get another scorer off their bench? Their bench often plays small as well, with a combo of Prigioni and Kidd on the perimeter and Smith at the three. So in theory, Dudley wouldn’t quite fit in the rotation and if he did other guys minutes’ would be taken away. The chemistry of the Knicks has been so strong so far this season and to ruin one of the best Knicks seasons in recent history for a player you have many of seems crazy. Also, the loss of Copeland (a young prospect who will become a better scorer than Dudley), and Kurt Thomas (a veteran presence and a defensive anchor) for Dudley don’t add up.
If I were the Knicks I’d simply step back and stop looking at the grass on the other side. New York has a championship caliber roster at the moment and I don’t think Dudley is worth breaking that up.