According to reports from Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski and Frank Isola of The New York Daily News, the Los Angeles Clippers and New York Knicks are engaged in trade talks centered around point guard Darren Collison and forward Iman Shumpert.
The core of the deal, which Wojnarowski describes as one that “isn’t close to being reached”, the Clippers would send Collison, rookie forward Reggie Bullock and additional salary filler to New York in exchange for Shumpert and point guard Raymond Felton.
New York has reportedly been shopping Shumpert , 23, for quite some time now, as he’s struggled in his third NBA season. For his career, Shumpert is just a 39% shooter from the field, though he has hit a respectable 34.7% of his attempts from three-point range. He’s an explosive athlete that has also shown great promise defensively. He’s a player that has plenty of room to grow, and could absolutely use a change of scenery. Working with someone like Doc Rivers, who has helped transform the games of both Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan already this season, could prove highly beneficial for Shumpert.
Felton, 29, has been in the league since 2005 and has made stops in Charlotte, Portland and Denver along with two different stints with the Knicks. He’s another Knick in the midst of a miserable individual season, as he’s averaging 10 points and nearly six assists per game while shooting a miserable 29% from beyond-the-arc.
Both Shumpert and Felton are on fairly reasonable contracts, with each combining to make about $6 million next season.
Collison is in his first season with the Clippers since signing over the summer to be Chris Paul’s backup. He’s enjoyed a resurgent season, and played quite well as the team’s starter after Paul went down with a shoulder injury and missed 18 games. He’s averaging a career-best 1.6 turnovers-per-game, to go along with 38% shooting from deep. His speedy style of play has been a perfect mesh with the high-flying Clippers after struggling last season in Dallas.
Bullock would be the key to the deal for the Knicks. The Clippers drafted him 25th overall this past summer out of North Carolina, and he’s played well, though sparingly, as a rookie. He has a reputation as a “3-and-D” type of player, though he has struggled a bit from deep in his inaugural NBA season (32%).
In order to make the money work, the Clippers would still have to add a couple of million dollars in salary, meaning someone like Willie Green, Ryan Hollins or Byron Mullens could also be thrown in.
While Collison has worked well with L.A. this season, he has a very shaky body of work when thrust into a starting role. He was the starter for Indiana in 2011 and for Dallas in 2012, and was not very good in either place, struggling to find any sort of consistent rhythm and didn’t look like the kind of player you’d want running your first-team offense. He’s likely best-served as an energizing scoring guard off-the-bench.
Then again, the Knicks have been atrocious this season, and perhaps a move like this is an attempt to turn the page. Carmelo Anthony has already said he plans to explore his options as a free agent this summer, and admitted over All-Star weekend that he’d be willing to return to New York for less money if the team is able to build a more impressive team around him.
The trade deadline is Thursday at noon PT.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.