The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks may have a blockbuster deal on the horizon according to ESPN insider Chris Broussard. The Knicks have had a rough start to the season after high expectations following a 54 win year. The Lakers on the other hand, are looking for stability in the backcourt as Steve Nash and Steve Blake are both suffering from injuries. The Knicks Iman Shumpert has been said to be available and could give the Lakers some youth and athleticism that fits great in coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense.
Now reports are stating that the Lakers are also interested in former Defensive Player of the Year, Tyson Chandler. That deal was said to be Pau Gasol for Chandler straight up. However, the Knicks may trade Chandler and Shumpert if it meant being able to get out of troubled guard J.R. Smith’s contract.
Via ESPN/Chris Broussard:
The Lakers recently called the Knicks to express their interest in Iman Shumpert, according to sources close to the situation.
No trade is imminent, and sources say the Lakers’ call was more about doing their due diligence; it’s well-known Shumpert is available. The Lakers are unlikely to make a deal before the end of their current four-game trip, which concludes Tuesday night in Memphis.
Sources say the Lakers also are interested in another Knicks player — center Tyson Chandler. The Lakers did not inquire about Chandler when they called about Shumpert, but they are weighing whether to propose a Pau Gasol-for-Chandler trade, according to sources.
The Knicks are not looking to move Chandler — several teams have contacted them about him, sources said — but if a club agreed to take back struggling guard J.R. Smith, the Knicks would consider such a deal.
It’s hard to imagine a deal being done for Tyson Chandler seeing that the Knicks have terrible interior defenders and Chandler is their best rim protector. However, if the Knicks continue to struggle, they could start to clear cap space with the contracts of Chandler and potentially Carmelo Anthony if they felt he wasn’t going to resign after this season. Also, the Knicks would need any potential trading partner to take on J.R. Smith’s contract in a package type deal that would net them more expiring contacts if they wanted to give themselves a shot at going after some free agents next summer. Of course the Knicks still would need to try to rid themselves out of either Amar’e Stoudemire or Andrea Bargnani’s contract, but at least this would be a start for them.