Earlier tonight, we learned that the Knicks have yet to reach out to Iman Shumpert about a contract extension as the Halloween deadline draws near. The news wasn’t terribly shocking for a couple of reasons. One, president Phil Jackson has his eye on bigger fish down the line and an extension for Shumpert would hinder their financial flexibility. Two, Shumpert’s name was all over the pages of Hoops Rumors last season. The old regime viewed him as a trade chip and, apparently, the new front office feels similarly.
The Knicks have reportedly been dangling Shumpert throughout this offseason as well and while the offers weren’t great, that could change very quickly with a strong start to the season. It’s not difficult to imagine things falling into place for the guard considering what he has been able to do when healthy and his eagerness to play in the triangle offense.
“There’s constant action going on,” Shumpert said of the Zen Master’s offense in August, according to Howie Kussoy of the New York Post. “I think I’ll be able to capitalize off that and I’ll be able to use my athleticism a lot more than standing in the corner.”
By the same token, one has to wonder if the Knicks might finally be ready to commit if Shumpert takes a significant step forward this season. Cap flexibility is important, but the Knicks might want to have the first right of refusal on Shump more than they realize right now. The Knicks might also come to the table with agent Happy Walters in the next four weeks and change to work out a deal after all, even though it appears to be something of a longshot at present.
How do you see things shaking out between the Knicks and the 24-year-old guard?