Yet again, the Phoenix Suns are showing their infatuation with second-year guard Iman Shumpert. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the team is dangling Jared Dudley and possibly a future first-round pick in front of the New York Knicks, who reportedly have shown no indication they’re interested in such a deal.
HoopsWorld’s Alex Kennedy, however, tweeted that the Knicks indeed have interest in Dudley.
Wojnarowski also reports that, separately, Phoenix is indeed looking to trade Sebastian Telfair away for a second-round pick — no surprises there.
But back to the potential acquisition of Shumpert, who Wojnarowski says has been scouted by Phoenix in the past week. This would mark at least the third time that reports have surfaced of the Suns privately expressing interest in the combo guard. They loved him in the 2011 NBA Draft but instead took Markieff Morris. The Suns then looked to get the 6-foot-5, 220 pound athlete in a sign-and-trade deal for Steve Nash this summer.
Shumpert, who is still recovering from an ACL tear in last year’s playoffs, is averaging 5.6 points, 1.7 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game for New York. That is down from career averages of 8.9 points and 2.6 assists per game.
Trading away the 27-year-old Dudley would obviously help the Suns get younger, as Shumpert is only 22. It upgrades the team from an athleticism standpoint and would help the team define an uptempo style. He’s also considered an elite defender, though the knee injury has hampered him from playing more than 20 minutes per game on average.
At this point in time, however, Shumpert would appear to be a downgrade on the offensive end. His per-36 points per this year (10.7) are below Dudley’s (14.2), and a career field goal percentage of 39 percent is nothing to be impressed about. One notable improvement this season is Shumpert’s three-point percentages, which sits at a healthy 42.9 percent currently.
Dudley’s contract of $4.25 million per year with three years (and an early termination option following) is obviously a bit larger than Shumpert’s rookie contract, Zach Harper of CBS Sports notes.
The Knicks need to send out about $2.1 million in addition to Shumpert in order to get it to work. The options (realistic options that don’t upset the core of the Knicks’ rotation) could include Marcus Camby (although why would you want to take on two more years of his contract if you’re Phoenix), or a combination of Kurt Thomas and either James White or Ronnie Brewer.