Report: Knicks Shopping Iman Shumpert for Late 1st Round Pick

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

The New York Knicks are shopping their young defensive SG, reportedly for a late first round pick in Thurday's draft.

According to a tweet by ESPN's Marc Stein, the Knicks are reportedly shopping Iman Shumpert once again.

Shumpert was far less than stellar last season, shooting under 38% from the field and making only a third of his three-point attempts.  The Knicks certainly seem to be selling low on the young wing, and the Clippers are in a position where they need to acquire impact players without very many assets.  Buying low could be a great move if Doc Rivers believes that the gamble will pay off, and based on his willingness to acquire Shumpert at the trade deadline, it certainly seems like Doc does believe.

The Clippers were rumored to be interested in acquiring Shumpert at the trading deadline, when the reported deal was centered around point guard Darren Collison.  However, at the time, the Knicks wanted the Clippers to either take back Raymond Felton's contract or give up rookie Reggie Bullock.  As it turned out, the Clippers ended up being unwilling to do either, and the deal fell through as Clippers players waited on the plane to hear news.

Now, the Knicks are offering up Shumpert again, and this time, the Clippers do have a first rounder to trade: the 28th pick in Thursday's draft.  Stein says the Knicks are seeking a late first rounder (obviously, they'd prefer an earlier pick, but they're willing to settle for late).  The issue with the Clippers' pick is that it's not just late, it's very late.  Another team could very easily offer the Knicks a lower pick.

For example, the Phoenix Suns have three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, but seem unlikely to hold on to all of them and carry three rookies next year as they compete for another playoff berth.  One of the Suns' picks is 27, which is simply a better offer than the Clippers' 28th pick.

As far as the Clippers are concerned, one feasible scenario would be trading the 28th pick and Jared Dudley, and cash considerations ($3M) for Iman Shumpert and Lamar Odom.  The Knicks were previously linked to Dudley last summer in a straight up Shumpert swap--obviously Dudley's value has lowered in the last year, but it's hard to imagine that the Knicks would be adverse to buying low on a player they believed in last summer.

As far as Odom goes, one assumes that he'd be immediately cut upon joining the Clippers.  In a savvy move, the Knicks signed Lamar on the last day of the season to a contract running through next year.  This contract is fully unguaranteed with no guarantee date and his $1,448,490 contract is perfect for matching salaries in this trade (Shannon Brown has a similar deal with New York worth about $1.3M but Odom's signing seems to have been deliberately made to match salaries in an off-season trade).

Conveniently, this deal not only helps the Clippers gain athleticism and defense on the wing, but it also gives the team a little more wiggle room financially.  In all likelihood, the team will attempt to drop below the tax line in order to use the full non-taxpayer Mid-Level Exception, and once they do that the apron (projected $81M) will once again serve as the team's hard cap.  Shedding Dudley's salary ($4,250,000) and the guaranteed salary of the 28th pick ($924,800), and only keeping Shumpert ($2,616,975) from the trade would save the team $2,557,825 in guaranteed money next year, creating that much more wiggle room.  That's a little more than the amount needed to re-sign Darren Collison with his non-bird rights ($2,280,000) or use the Bi-Annual Exception on a free agent ($2,077,000).

Unfortunately, it all seems moot because one expects the Knicks will receive a better offer than what the Clippers can give them.  If that's not the case, however, I would hope that Doc Rivers would be all over this opportunity to get younger, improve defensively, and save money... as long as there isn't a player available at #28 that Rivers strongly believes in.

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