ESPN.com's Marc Stein has reported a couple of very interesting trade rumblings involving the New York Knicks over on his blog, Stein Line Live (a must-read for NBA fans).
1. The Knicks, Stein writes, have tried to re-engage the Denver Nuggets on a deal centered around Iman Shumpert for Kenneth Faried. Stein writes that Denver has yet to show interest.
The holdup? The Nuggets would like to unload a long-term contract and the Knicks have no interest in taking on long-term money.
2. The Washington Wizards have shown interest in Knicks point guard Beno Udrih.
Udrih has expressed frustration with the public criticisms of his play and recently communicated a desire to be traded.
Our take on the Shumpert-to-Faried talks: If the Knicks acquire Faried, it would be interesting to see how Mike Woodson -- or whoever's coaching the Knicks next week -- fits Faried into the front-court rotation.
Andrea Bargnani (elbow) and Kenyon Martin (knee) are out, and it's unclear when either will be back.
In their absence, Amar'e Stoudemire and Jeremy Tyler have seen their minutes and roles increase. It seems as though Tyler would be the odd man out if New York acquires Faried.
But what happens when Martin and Bargnani return?
Here's another aspect to think about: It seems clear to anyone who has watched the Knicks over the past few weeks that their biggest need is in the backcourt. So this trade, on its surface, doesn't seem to address that need.
Stein writes that the most likely trade scenario -- if it progresses to that stage -- would include the Knicks sending Udrih and Shumpert to Denver for Jordan Hamilton and Faried.
This proposal wouldn't address the guard issue for New York, however.
Still, getting a player like Faried -- regardless of how well or poorly he fits the roster this season -- for a player like Shumpert would be a plus for the Knicks in the future.
Faried, like Shumpert, is eligible for a contract extension this summer.
If the Knicks deal for him, you can guess they want him in their future plans. Extending Faried, it should be noted, would take away from their flexibility in the summer of 2015.
Shumpert has struggled to perform consistently on the offensive end this season. The guess here is that he works those issues out and develops into a strong contributor in a different environment.
Our take on Washington's interest in Udrih: The Knicks will likely do what they can to honor Udrih's trade request. If they flipped him to Washington, it's possible that Washington would send Al Harrington or Glen Rice Jr. back in a player-for-player swap. That's pure conjecture based on salary matches, though.
Harrington's one-year deal comes off the books after the season. He has been out since Nov. 13 with a knee injury but recently told reporters in Washington that he hopes to return after the All-Star break.
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