HOUSTON — The New York Knicks are still open to the possibility of trading second-year guard Iman Shumpert despite coach Mike Woodson’s declaration that the player he still calls “Rook” isn’t going anywhere.
“There are major concerns (from people close to Shumpert) over how the Knicks are developing him,” a source from another team told SheridanHoops.com, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
“They feel he’s being played out of position (at small forward) and his confidence is suffering because of it. They understand the team is having success and it has to be the right deal, but they’d prefer Iman in another situation… And soon.”
After a fast start which saw them rise to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, the New York Knicks sputtered at .500 over their last 28 games. A loss to the Toronto Raptors prior to the All-Star break caused word to spread around the league that the Knicks will turn more proactive in the days leading up to the deadline.
Shumpert had a strong rookie season, showing the promise of being one of the league’s top perimeter defenders. However, since his return January 17th from major knee injury, Shumpert has clearly struggled to find that confidence on the defensive end, and has seemed out of sorts offensively at the small forward position. You’d expect such sluggishness following such a severe injury, but the concerns are less about Shumpert’s productivity than being put in the best situation to succeed.