The Los Angeles Lakers are 11-13 through 24 games and have lost five of their last seven outings. While they have admittedly played one of the tougher schedules in the NBA, there is no denying that this team will have a very difficult time making the playoffs. Meanwhile, whereas the Lakers at least have the excuse of having played a tough schedule, the New York Knicks are 7-17 despite playing one of the easier schedules in the league. Both of these teams need a shot in the arm, obviously.
According to a report by ESPN, Mitch Kupchak has apparently made inquiries about trading for Iman Shumpert. At one point the Knicks deemed Shumpert untradeable, however, now that their first priority is retaining Carmelo Anthony, clearly that has changed.
Shumpert, 23, is an ultra-athletic player who can play lock down defense whenever he chooses to. His offensive game is spotty, but that’s rarely a problem for guys playing under Mike D’Antoni. The biggest red flag as it pertains to Shumpert is his tendency to get hurt. He played in 59 games two years ago, 45 a year ago, and has already missed two games this season.
What could the Lakers give up for Shumpert? Well, presumably New York brass wouldn’t settle for anything less than Pau Gasol. If their goal is to surround Anthony with talent, then Gasol is the only asset worth acquiring from L.A. Chris Kaman would be probably be a throw-in if, for some ridiculous reason, Gasol weren’t involved.
The problem here is that it’s difficult to see what the Knicks could possibly want from the Lakers. The team is stacked with old guys and no-names right now. Whereas the Lakers would take a risk on Shumpert because he’s young – why would the Knicks take a risk on any of the guys L.A. has to offer?
Don’t bet on a Lakers-Knicks deal happening any time soon.