The young, athletic and defensively imposing combo guard recovered well from his ACL injury in last year's playoffs, but there are still other pieces out there who could also fit well into this Knicks team.
The most recent trade rumors involving Jared Dudley coming to the Knicks in exchange for Shumpert seems ridiculous at first.
Mike Woodson stated that he would like to see Shumpert stay with his squad, but he can't do anything if he ends up getting dealt (via NY Daily News).
Here's the question: Why trade an up-and-coming guard with incredible potential for a veteran swingman on a losing team with very little upside?
At a glance, this trade would be terrible for the Knicks, but let's look into it a little bit deeper.
With the Knicks current roster of aging veterans, they are built to win right now. This season, they may or may not win a championship, but they are still considered contenders. Valuable contributors like Jason Kidd might not be able to play at this level in the near future, and Amar'e Stoudemire's knees are only going to get worse as he crosses over to the wrong side of 30.
Shumpert is unquestionably talented, but right now he's primarily a great perimeter defender with decent driving ability and considered a mediocre shooter and passer. On a team with a small window for a championship, the Knicks can get a player that fits better on the team.
Dudley isn't a household name, but his skills are much more valuable to the Knicks right now than Shumpert's are. Like Shumpert, he too is a great perimeter defender and he has more length, so he can match up against bigger guards or small forwards better than Shumpert.
On top of that, Dudley is a capable playmaker with exceptional shooting ability. According to Team Rankings, the Knicks make the most three-point shots per game out of every team in the NBA. Shumpert has been making his threes at a respectable 43 percent clip this year, but he's an inconsistent shooter at best.
Dudley will help the Knicks maintain their three-point shooting mentality while also providing suffocating individual defense on the wings.
Shumpert will have a bright future, but it might have to be somewhere else. He won't have an opportunity to shine with the Knicks right now, averaging just a shade under 19 minutes per game. He has limitless potential, but it may never be reached if he continues to play in the Knicks system.
Yes, the Knicks have a plethora of three-point shooters already, but Dudley's defense and playmaking ability adds a whole new dimension to the team. They may have a lot of perimeter threats, but none of them are two-way threats. Dudley is.
Shumpert may be a valuable piece for the Knicks' rebuilding efforts for the future, but he could also be used as a valuable trade piece in order to acquire the missing piece to help boost this team to the next level.
Dudley could be that missing piece.