The New York Knicks could be on the verge of making another trade, in the middle of an already busy offseason. After signing Carmelo Anthony to a five-year contract and making a deal with the Dallas Mavericks, the latest rumors have the team looking to make more moves.
Ian Begley of ESPN New York said the Knicks are exploring moving one of their guards. The team bolstered its backcourt when it sent Tyson Chandler and Raymond Felton to Dallas and is now looking to unload one of its assets.
Tim Hardaway Jr. was impressive in the NBA Summer League, a year after New York drafted him in the first round. Jose Calderon will start for the Knicks at point guard, and isn’t going to be traded anytime soon. Still, the Knicks have several options when it comes to making a deal.
It’s hard to imagine what the Knicks could get in exchange for Smith, considering he’s coming off what might be the worst season of his career. In 74 games, he shot 41.5 percent from the field, scoring 14.5 points per game.
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Despite his struggles in 2013-14, Smith was one of the best bench players in the league the previous season. He won the Sixth Man of the Year Award and was the second-highest scorer on the team that finished No.2 in the Eastern Conference. Smith has a reasonable contract with just over $12 million remaining in two years, so it’s possible a team looking for scoring would take a chance on him.
The 24-year-old might have the most value of any of the guards that the Knicks are willing to trade. A former first-round pick, Shumpert has shown signs he can be an elite defender. Prior to June’s draft, there was talk New York might deal him for a first-rounder since it was without one.
Shumpert does have his concerns on the offensive end. In three seasons, he’s never shot more than 40 percent from the field, and last year he averaged just 6.7 points per game. His youth and promise, though, could make it worthwhile for another team to take a chance on him. The Knicks have looked at trading Shumpert for the past few years, and having a crowded backcourt could be what finally spells the end for the guard in New York.
Of all the Knicks’ guards, Larkin is the biggest unknown. As a rookie, he didn’t get much of a chance to prove his worth, breaking his ankle and averaging just 10.2 minutes in 48 games. He was the 18th overall pick in 2013. While he might seem like the most expendable player as an unproven commodity, New York could look to hold onto him, considering he’s the cheapest and youngest of the bunch.