According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets were in trade talks earlier this week. The main deal would move forward Kenneth Faried to the Knicks in exchange for defensive swingman Iman Shumpert. Well, that was the rumor until it was almost immediately debunked via twitter by Adrian Wojnaroski the same day the initial report came out.
Would this have been a good trade? For Denver, absolutely. Iman Shumpert is the perfect kind of three and D player to complement Brian Shaw’s slow, post-driven pace, and the Nuggets have plenty of other bigs in J.J. Hickson, Anthony Randolph, Darrell Arthur, Timofey Mozgov, and Javale McGee. The Nuggets don’t look particularly good this season, and maybe acquiring another perimeter shooter and defender with positional versatility will bring Denver into the playoff race.
For the Knicks? This would have been a really silly and unnecessary trade. Think about it: assuming everyone’s healthy, the Knicks have Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kenyon Martin, and Cole Aldrich. Unless New York can finagle some way to move one of their terrible albatross contracts (Bargnani and Stoudemire), this trade would have turned the Knicks into a team full of bigs who play below average defense (except for Chandler and Martin), have no post play, and won’t make many free throws. This trade might have worked out in the Knicks’ favor a few years down the line, but would have ruined their season this year. Also, Shumpert is one of only two players on the Knicks (including Metta Wolrd Peace) who can consistently play lock-down perimeter defense.
So, on behalf of all Knicks fans everywhere, I want to thank the Denver Nuggets front office for stubbornly keeping a player they don’t really need right now and who has a lot of trade value for someone that would actually improve their team this very season.