Though it appeared the New York Knicks would be relatively quiet as we head into the NBA trade deadline, the latest rumor indicates that they may still be trying to strengthen the roster for the second half of the season.
On the surface, Dudley would be a good fit. He can play both wing positions, shoots well and plays tough defense on the perimeter. Despite his lack of athleticism, he can be a very effective player for any team.
In addition, Dudley is still young, but has playoff experience, making him a viable option down the stretch.
For a player on a very reasonable contract with another three years left, he is definitely someone who can help the Knicks in their quest for a championship.
As good as adding Dudley sounds, however, the real problem comes with actually bringing him to New York. Due to his salary and the pieces on the Knicks roster, it's going to be very difficult to bring him to MSG in a reasonable trade.
Dudley is down for $4.25 million in salary this season, and the only players that could match that in a trade are Marcus Camby and Steve Novak.
For obvious reasons—including his age, injury history and long-term contract—there's no way the Suns would want Camby in return. Though Novak is a good shooter, it's also unlikely they'd be after such a one-dimensional player for someone who also brings defense to the table.
Outside of those two, the Knicks have plenty of smaller contracts, but besides J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert there's no-one really good enough to attract Phoenix's attention.
And it goes without saying that the Knicks would be crazy to let go of either Smith or Shumpert just to bring in Dudley.
As shown here on the ESPN Trade Machine, the only realistic combination of players would be Ronnie Brewer, Kurt Thomas, James White and Chris Copeland in return for Dudley.
For that trade to be accepted, the Knicks would have to hope that the Suns want more 2013 cap space (three of the players are on expiring contracts) and value Brewer and Copeland as helpful pieces for the future.
Brewer has shown already this season that, whilst he struggles offensively, he can be a fantastic defender on the wing. Meanwhile, Copeland has shown in what is only his rookie season that he is a capable scorer if nothing else.
If push comes to shove, the Knicks may even have to add a future draft pick to sweeten the deal, but that raises the question if it is really worthwhile to strengthen a backcourt that is already crowded.
At the end of the day, a trade that would please both sides seems highly unlikely. The Knicks may like the idea of having Dudley as an option off the bench, but they'll need to look elsewhere for a realistic addition to the team.
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