The New York Knicks are reportedly attempting to revisit trade talks with the Denver Nuggets for a deal that would send third-year swingman Iman Shumpert to Denver in exchange for high-flying forward Kenneth Faried, according to a tweet Tuesday afternoon from Marc Stein of ESPN.
Hearing that Knicks are trying again to re-engage Denver and sell Nuggets on idea of trade built around Shumpert-for-Faried before deadline
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 11, 2014
For the Knicks, the move would be an attempt to bolster a banged-up frontcourt that has seen Tyson Chandler, Amar’e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin spend extended periods of time sidelined due to lingering injuries. For the Nuggets, a move to acquire Shumpert could be more likely now than it was several months ago when rumors of the talks first surfaced. Since then, Nuggets point guard Nate Robinson has been deemed out for the season after undergoing knee surgery, Ty Lawson is out indefinitely after suffering a fractured rib last weekend and veteran guard Andre Miller remains unavailable because of disputes with head coach Brian Shaw.
New York’s decision to rekindle negotiations comes as no surprise. The Knicks have repeatedly shopped Shumpert, consistently dangling him in proposals with hopes that he could land them an impact player. Although their salaries match up almost perfectly, it’s difficult to imagine Denver dealing Faried—who is averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds on 54.7 percent shooting—for an inconsistent perimeter player with deteriorating athleticism.
At 20-31, though, the Knicks appear desperate to shake things up. They’re two games outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, and they run the risk of losing Carmelo Anthony in free agency this summer if things don’t change. Denver has quietly put itself in a similar situation. The Nuggets are six games back of a playoff spot out West, and while they will have two first-round draft picks this summer, they’ve quietly assembled one of the league’s worst payrolls. With both teams in need of change, it makes sense that the topic would be broached again. But unless the Knicks are willing to give up more, this isn’t a trade likely to go down.
Draft compensation is something the Knicks don’t have. They cannot deal a first-rounder until 2018, and wasting one of their lone future draft picks on another youngster—who has regressed a bit this season himself—would be tough to justify.
The 24-year-old Faried is currently averaging 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. In 49 appearances so far this season, the 23-year-old Shumpert is averaging seven points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 27 minutes per game.