By John Schmeelk
» More Columns
As much as many Knicks fans were frustrated by the team’s lack of movement on Thursday to try to make a playoff run, they should see it from a different point of view.
The Knicks, which have no hope of doing anything meaningful this season, didn’t do anything to jeopardize their future for cosmetic help. I realize the bar is set low when you say, “Well at least they didn’t do anything stupid,” but these are the Knicks. There’s also some debate as to whether the Knicks were saved from themselves by other teams not agreeing to their proposed trades, or if they made prudent decisions on their own. Since we only have reports and rumors, I’ll give the Knicks some credit.
Iman Shumpert can still be dealt on draft night, during the offseason or at the trade deadline next year. His value might even improve with a better season under a new coach. If anything, the Knicks avoided trading Shumpert when his value was at its lowest. I will never consider that a bad thing. Shumpert can still improve and help the Knicks down the road, and there was no urgency in getting a trade done now. Steve Mills wisely put a price on acquiring Shumpert — a first-round pick or taking on Ray Felton’s contract.
It doesn’t mean the Knicks are getting an A for their trade-deadline performance. Their stubbornness over still trying to win this season cost them an opportunity to see what they could get for Tyson Chandler and Carmelo Anthony in potential trades. At the very least, those players could have gotten the Knicks back into the first round in 2014, something they sorely need.
Still, they were significant baby steps for the Knicks. Rather than going backwards and potentially hurting themselves long-term, they stood still. The bar is low, but at least the Knicks got over it. Here were some the rumored trades the Knicks were involved in and how the Knicks handled themselves:
1) Shumpert for Collison deal: This had many different iterations, and the only one that made sense for the Knicks was the one featuring Darren Collison and Reggie Bullock coming to the Knicks for Felton and Shumpert. Bullock was a first-round pick and his future potential made the trade worth it. The Clippers wouldn’t bite and the Knicks, in typical fashion, caved a little bit and decided to settle for Collison, Matt Barnes and Willie Green. Reports are it was the Clippers that bailed out of that trade, which in the end helped the Knicks. Collison is a slight upgrade — at best — over Felton, and he will be gone by 2015. Shumpert is too high a price to pay for that.
2) There were also rumors that the Knicks turned down the Thunder’s offer of their first-round pick this year for Shumpert. I would have been OK if the Knicks decided to do that trade, but not thrilled. The pick would have been a virtual second-round pick at a first-round cost. At the very least, the Knicks would have been back in this year’s draft, which should be the main priority.
3) It looked like Beno Udrih for Jordan Hamilton was a done deal until Denver sent him to Houston for Aaron Brooks. Getting a young, albeit underperforming wing like Hamilton for someone who Woodson can’t stand and won’t play in Udrih would have been a good thing, but by no means a season changer.
Nothing else really seemed likely or even possible with the prospect of getting Jeff Teauge or Kyle Lowry off the table. The Knicks were a bad team before the deadline and they were going to be a bad team after the deadline no matter what they did. They need to take their lumps and be patient for 2015, when everything has at least a reasonable chance of falling into place.
In fact, they just might be better off finishing in the lottery next year so they have a decent shot at the top pick in the draft when the ping-pong balls are shuffled.
You can follow me on Twitter @Schmeelk for everything Knicks, Giants, Yankees and the world of sports.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories