According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Phoenix Suns are pursuing a trade for Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks. This comes after the Suns regretfully passed on Shumpert during the 2011 NBA draft.
Since the news broke, Carmelo Anthony and Mike Woodson have smartly jumped to Shumpert's defense.
Frank Isola of The New York Daily News reports that coach Woodson understands that the NBA is a business and Shumpert could be dealt. With that being said, Woodson would prefer if Shump remained with the Knicks.
His daughter shares the sentiment.
"I don't think you can ever tell a player he's not (being traded)," Woodson said on Sunday. "That's kind of out of my hands. If the owners came to me and said we have to do a deal, you do the deal.
"But I sat him down and I told him. He knows how I feel about him. I mean, my daughter jumped me last night about that trade rumor. She called me and said 'Daddy, you're not trading him,' because they all went to Georgia Tech together. Man, I'm like 'Iman's going to be right here with me.'"
Woodson and his daughter are not alone in their support for Shumpert.
Per Ian Begley of ESPN New York, superstar forward Carmelo Anthony joined Woodson in defending Shumpert. According to 'Melo, there is no need for a move to be made.
Especially not if Shumpert is involved.
"We don't need to make no moves," Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told ESPNNewYork.com. "No, we're good. ... What are we going to go get? I don't know what we going to go get for (Shumpert)."
To answer 'Melo's question, Wojnarowski reports that the Suns would ship Jared Dudley to New York.
Dudley is averaging 11.8 points on 39.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. He's also one of the more respected veterans and a quality perimeter defender.
With that being said, Dudley is 27 years old. Shumpert is 22 and in a better position for long-term success.
Even still, the trade rumors are heating up. The question is, are they getting to Shump's head? Per Begley:
"I don't really care," Shumpert said following Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. "I've just got to play ball. I can't control it anyway. There's nothing to worry about -- something I can't control."
Unfortunately, Shumpert is right.
The second-year guard has nothing to do but wait and see what happens. Even if Shumpert does deserve better treatment than he is receiving, this is the Knicks, where management is hardly a strength.
Fortunately, 'Melo, Woodson and B/R are all coming to Shumpert's defense.
Positive Defensive Impact
Without Shumpert in the rotation, the New York Knicks are allowing an average of 96.8 points per game. With Shumpert in the lineup, however, the Knicks are letting up just 92.8 points per contest.
What more do we need to say?
That is a full 4.0-point differential with and without Shumpert in the rotation. For those who want to know the true impact, however, take a look at the Knicks defense since they started 8-1.
It's like night and day.
After dominating opponents defensively early, the Knicks fell apart. Between November 21 and January 13, the Knicks allowed an average of 99.1 points per game.
That's a difference of 6.3 points allowed per game since Shumpert returned.
Per NBA.com, the Knicks are allowing 91.8 points per 48 minutes that Shumpert is on the floor. That number jumps to 95.9 per 48 when Shump is on the bench.
So what will this trade improve?
Without Shump, Who Defends the Wing?
The New York Knicks will be exposed against teams with elite perimeter scorers if they trade Shumpert. Even if they were to acquire Dudley, that wouldn't change.
No one on New York's roster is an elite perimeter defender without Shump. So who is going to slow down Dwyane Wade and the rest of the elite wings in the East?
J.R. Smith is a tremendously improved defender. With that being said, NBA fans and analysts need to understand one very important truth.
Just because you progress doesn't mean you've become elite. That's a class that a limited amount of NBA players qualify for.
As far as he may have come, Smith isn't one of those select few. So who will contain the elite scorers if Shumpert isn't around?
As the first half of the Knicks' season displayed, no one.
Learn from Lakers: Don't Abandon Future
If there is anything to learn from the Los Angeles Lakers, it is that abandoning your youth for veteran aid is the perfect formula for failure. It's the reason L.A. was blown out of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012.
It's also the reason L.A. is 24-28 in 2012-13.
As for the Knicks, Shumpert is the only player on the roster that is younger than 27. I repeat, Shumpert is the only player on the roster younger than 27.
How much of a future do the Knicks have with that being known? Unless they make moves in the near future, the future is dim.
Dudley, the player that the Knicks would hypothetically receive in exchange for Shumpert, is also 27. He wouldn't change that fact.
So why would you trade the only form of youth your team possesses?
This has been the story of the Knicks as an organization since James Dolan took over. Youth has consistently been scrapped in favor of grizzled veterans—an approach that has led to just two seasons above .500 since 2001.
By trading Shumpert, the Knicks would terminate their status as a long-term contender. Fortunately, there are members of the organization jumping to Shump's defense.
Superstar leader Carmelo Anthony and head coach Mike Woodson.