Melo, Woodson: Shumpert supposedly staying despite trade rumors
But after losing 102-88 to Los Angeles Clippers at Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks forward CAmrelo Anthony played down the trade rumors.
“He ain’t going nowhere, he ain’t gotta worry about that,” Carmelo Anthony said of Iman Shumpert. “The Knicks shouldn’t even be in trade talks right now.”
The Phoenix Suns are reportedly interested in Iman Shumpert, while trading in forward Jared Dudley and couple of first round picks. But New York Knicks Mike Woodson again addressed the potentially multi-player trade on Sunday, team wasn’t expecting to ship its youngest player anywhere.
“He said don’t worry about,” Iman Shumpert said of Mike D’Antoni. “A rumor’s a rumor.”
However, Iman Shumpert’s determined not to lose focus due to the trade rumors while still representing the New York Knicks on the floor.
“I just gotta play ball. I can’t control it anyway,” Iman Shumpert said on the night he shot 1-of-4 from the field. “Nothing to worry about something I can’t control. Go out there and play.”
Still, there wasn’t any sound statement Mike Woodson could offer to ensure Iman Shumpert stayed with the New York Knicks.
“That’s kind of out of my hands,” Mike Woodson said of the trade situation before Sunday’s game. “If owners came to me and said we have to do a deal, you do the deal. But I sat [Shumpert] down and I told him. He knows how I feel about him.”
Mike Woodson continued to state he had “faith in Iman,” so much so that he had the second-year pro covering Los Angeles Clipper’ Chris Paul at the beginning of the game.
But the Los Angeles Clipper guard Chris Paul found gaps to set up shots and plays, finishing with 25 points and seven assists, paving way for the Clipper to outscore the New York Knicks 31-18 in the fourth quarter.
The New York Knicks’ defense has taken run in issues in recent games as the perimeter defenders including Iman Shumpert continued to struggle. The Los Angeles Clipper guards Jamal Crawford (27 points), Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe (13 points) and Chauncey Billups (8 points) combined for 73 points in the game.
“I know it is a challenge to continue to guard guys but I am going to work and get better,” said Iman Shumpert, who is returning form ACL injury after missing time 11 games ago.
While at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Iman Shumpert packs both size and showcases great athleticism, he recognizes further need for improvement on the offensive end.
“It isn’t only about the offense,” Mike Woodson said of Iman Shumpert, who averaged just 5.2 point over the last five games. “We didn’t rely on him to score a lot of points last year. I like him from a defensive standpoint.”