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New York Knicks’ Iman Shumpert Possibly Being Sent to Oklahoma City Thunder

December 1st, 2013 at 1:03 PM
By Matt Agne

Iman Shumpert has been involved in almost each and every trade scenario the New York Knicks have been looking into. While fans love Shumpert for his style, energy and defensive abilities he clearly isn't as coveted by the organization itself. The newest rumors have the Knicks sending him to the very talented Oklahoma City Thunder for a veteran big man and a draft pick.

'New York Knicks' photo (c) 2013, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Most fans want to see the New York Knicks keep Iman Shumpert. However, it's also clear that he's one of their main trade assets. While the Knicks would miss his defense he's clearly fallen out of favor with the coaching staff, front office and owner. When you combine that with the fact the Knicks have J.R. Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. also at shooting guard it only further makes Shumpert expendable.

Now, what can the Knicks get for Shumpert? There's been a bunch of rumors, the latest for Cleveland Cavaliers' guard Dion Waiters. However, now there's this Oklahoma City Thunder rumor.

Onchie Ebriega of The Latino Post reports the rumored package to be exchanged between New York and Oklahoma City.

One possible trade scenario that might happen is the Knicks trading Shumpert to the Thunder in exchange for veteran power forward Nick Collison and a first round pick in 2014 draft.

Why would the Knicks consider this trade? First of all, it's not overly often that teams trade bigs for guards. Secondly, right now the Knicks don't have a first round draft pick in the next draft. With such a stacked draft class not having picks couldn't come at a worst time. This trade could strengthen a weakness for them and give them the ability to add another young, inexpensive talent via the draft.

Nick Collison played four years at Kansas and was drafted twelfth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. He's been with the organization his entire NBA career both in Seattle and when the team became the Oklahoma City Thunder. He's 33, married and has a daughter.

He isn't the center most fans will want. However, he's a productive player who plays efficient basketball. He's not a superstar or even a star but he's a valuable contributor. While he's more of a natural power forward, Collinson can contribute as a center as well.

Collison is very strong and knows how to fight for position down low. He stands 6'10", weighs 255 pounds and has a wingspan of 7'1 ½". While he isn't flashy, he's a fundamentally sound player and a very hard worker.

Collison is a good passer for his position. He runs the floor well and also has nice footwork and touch in the post. He's not athletic enough to be a consistent scorer around the rim but he's very sound offensively.

Besides adding much needed size and toughness, his biggest help to the Knicks would be on the glass. He's very talented at crashing the boards on both the offensive and defensive ends. He tends to foul more athletic opponents but he's a high effort player who contests shots.

'Oklahoma City Thunder' photo (c) 2009, Mike - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

While Collison isn't a big name addition he'd be a workhorse fan favorite fairly quickly. However, he's not the entire bounty. The Knicks would also be receiving the Thunder's 2014 first round pick.

Now, that will probably be a low first rounder because the Thunder are a very good team but the Knicks don't have picks in the upcoming draft. Correction, they may have a second round pick via the Sacramento Kings but that's protected for selections 31-55. If it falls between there it exhausts the Kings obligation to New York and they get nothing.

Outside of that possibility, the Knicks traded their first round pick to the Denver Nuggets in the Carmelo Anthony package and their second round pick to the Houston Rockets in their acquisition of Marcus Camby. That leaves them with no guaranteed picks and one possible second rounder but only if the selection is one of the first two or one of the five final picks of the second round.

As far as the Thunder's picks go, they have their first round pick available. They also may have a second first round pick coming from the Dallas Mavericks but that's protected from selections 1-20. They don't have a second round pick, however, because that was sent to the Knicks for Ronnie Brewer and then sent to the Toronto Raptors in the package that brought Andrea Bargnani to New York.

One snag in this rumor is the fact Shumpert makes $1,703,760 this season and Collison makes $2,585,668. With the money too far apart, the trade would have to be expanded. There's no word on who the teams might exchange.

However, Knicks 101 speculates that the Knicks could add Raymond Felton to the package and the Thunder could add Reggie Jackson to Collison going to New York. That would allow the Knicks to rid themselves of Felton's contract while giving Oklahoma City in upgrade at their backup point guard position. It would also give Jackson the change of scene he seemingly needs and give the Knicks a younger, cheaper, more defensive guard to develop.

Clearly that expanded package is only Knicks 101 speculation but the money works, the trade would go through and if New York and Oklahoma City are going to exchange Shumpert for Collison it would take an expansion to make it happen. That being said, other players will be available for trade after December 15.

Most fans will not be behind this trade. They'll want to keep Shumpert or get a star back for him. However, if the Knicks can make this trade they should. It gives them a solid big and a chance to land a young talent in the 2014 NBA Draft. That being said, it's clear Shumpert has value and that he should be shopped around more for the best package possible before pulling the trigger on this deal.

One measuring stick to determine the Thunder's interest in Shumpert is information shared by the New York Daily News, who reported that a league executive believed every team has set their sights on Shumpert.

"The rest of the league seems to value Iman more than the Knicks do. And his value is high," the report said.

The Knicks may not value Shumpert as far as his future in New York goes but it's clear that if the rest of the league believes his value is high the Knicks need to maximize that value. The Knicks might not value Shumpert but they need to make sure they get something they value in exchange for him.

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Tags: Basketball, Iman Shumpert, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder, Seattle SuperSonics

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