Knicks looking to trade multiple backcourt players

  • Jason Whitney

Shumpert, Smith and Larkin could be on their way out of New York

It is no secret the New York Knicks have a logjam of guards on the team. With Tim Hardaway Jr. being “deemed untouchable,” that leaves J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Shane Larkin fighting for limited backcourt spots. Smith has the largest contract and is also the biggest risk of the bunch, while Iman Shumpert is by far the best Knicks defender, but struggled offensively last year. Shane Larkin is relatively unknown and is looked at as a prospect at this point in his career. So, the Knicks, probably will have to take a hit on the receiving end of any potential trade seeing that these aren’t exactly players teams are dying to have.

Via ESPN New York:

Working to clear the logjam in the backcourt, the Knicks are discussing their potential trade options with guards J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Shane Larkin, a league source said Sunday. 

“They’re working on trying to make a move in the backcourt,” the NBA source familiar with the Knicks’ thinking said Sunday. 

The idea that the Knicks are trying to make a trade to balance the roster isn’t earth-shattering. President Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills have mentioned the Knicks have a surplus in the backcourt, with Mills saying last week the Knicks are “heavy” at shooting guard. 

The issue for the Knicks, of course, is deciding whom to send out in a trade and figuring out what they can get in return in such a transaction. 

Shumpert is said to be a player Phil Jackson covets, but his name is constantly being brought up in trade rumors. In a perfect world, the Knicks would be able to find a suitor for J.R. Smith, but that seems like a long shot at this point. Which leaves the possibility of potentially all three being shipped out in order to clear space in the crowed backcourt. I think it’s safe to say that Phil Jackson isn’t done wheeling and dealing yet.

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