Sorry, did I lose you there? Good, I didn’t think so. The Knicks have been a living, breathing catastrophe this season. Reminiscent of the days when Isiah Thomas was running things from upstairs. So, you know, yuck and stuff.
Through this hellacious roller coaster ride, Iman Shumpert has found himself the subject of unrelenting trade rumors. That’s what the Knicks do, after all: trade people. Fire people. Confuse an entire fanbase by dangling their only two-way player in a series of underwhelming trade talks. Sad, but true.
But while you’ve heard the rumors before, you haven’t heard their actual pitch. What are they saying to teams, knowing that Shumpert is posting a career-low PER (10.7) and struggling immensely? ESPN New York’s Ian Begley has the scoop:
So the front office, naturally, has been doing its best to increase Shumpert’s trade value in its discussions with potential suitors. It has played up the fact that he’s young, on a cheap contract and a two-way player.
According to league sources with knowledge of the team’s talks with potential trade partners, president/GM Steve Mills’ management team has also cited Mike Woodson’s coaching as one reason for Shumpert’s poor play.
“They’re saying that Shumpert’s a better player [than he’s shown] but Woodson isn’t using him right,” one league source said.
Because, yes. This is so New York; so the Knicks. They’re throwing their head coach, Mike Woodson, under a bus in order to drum up the trade value of a prospect they’ll probably sell short anyway. Like I said, so Knick-like.
Begley does note that this is a common tactic though, to which I ask: For real?
What the Knicks are essentially doing here is telling teams that Shumpert sucks because of Woodson and they know it, so they’re trying to rid themselves of Shumpert instead of Woodson. That doesn’t make sense.
I’m not saying the Knicks should fire Woodson—my opinion doesn’t matter; they’ll probably fire him no matter what—but it’s ridiculous that the Knicks are telling teams Shumpert is a solvable problem, they’re just too lazy to solve him. That’s what this is. I can only imagine what the phone conversations between general manager Steve Mills and other teams have been like…
“Hello, Danny?” he would say to Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge. “Listen, Shumpert’s up for grabs. Can we work something out for Rajon Rondo?”
“You’re kidding, right?” Ainge would respond.
“No, I’m dead serious,” Mills would say snickering in the background. “I know the kid’s struggling, but it’s an easy fix. He’ll be a superstar by next Wednesday. Guaranteed.”
“So, you’re saying that the you’re willing to trade an imminent superstar, and more, for an injured point guard?” Ainge would ask. “After seeing what happened to Derrick Rose? Why not just ‘fix’ Shumpert yourself?”
“Damn, he figured us out Jimmy,” Mills would explain to owner James Dolan as he hung up the phone. “He’s like a conversational wizard.”
…or something like that.
Point is, the Knicks’ sales pitch for Shumpert trade proposals suck. Their treatment of players and coaches not named Carmelo Anthony sucks. Their whole business model—it just sucks.
But it’s fixable. Totally fine. Nothing to see here other than greatness. That’s would the Knicks would say anyway, if this article was a player they were trying to sell you on.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.