A Perfectly Reasonable Stoudemire/Shumpert Trade

There have been a couple of Amar’e trades bandied about recently and almost none of them make sense for the Knicks (rule number one for any GM: don’t trade for Gerald Wallace). At the same time, there have been a lot of Iman Shumpert trades in the news, none of which make sense for the other team involved in the deal (he’s just not playing well enough right now to bring Kenneth Faried back in exchange). And the Knicks simply don’t have enough assets to get Rajon Rondo under any circumstances, no matter how much we all wish that might happen.

But here’s one that works under the salary cap and makes more than enough sense for both parties: 

To the Knicks:

  • Hedo Turkoglu (one year, $12 million - not currently playing, buyout rumored)
  • Jameer Nelson (two years, $8.6 million a year)
  • Glen Davis (two years, $6.4 million a year)

To the Magic:

  • Amar’e Stoudemire (two years, $21.6 million a year)
  • Iman Shumpert (two years, $1.7 million a year)

The Knicks get an upgrade at point guard (Nelson, who is averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 assists this season and is a proficient pick-and-roll player) and some help on the front line (Davis*) without interfering with their Summer of 2015 free agency plan (sigh). They get an added bonus by reducing their 2014-15 payroll by about $6.6 million (Amar’e’s 2014-15 salary minus Davis and Nelson’s).They might even be able to get some additional savings by buying Turkoglu out (not that it matters much since they are so far over the cap this year anyway).

The Magic basically break even on the money over the course of the deal but get Iman Shumpert for their trouble. The trade makes them worse on the court but it doesn’t matter because they are tanking anyway. A little tiny bonus is that Stoudemire is kinda from the Orlando area, something they can use to market the deal to their fans (I assume they have fans). And if the Magic want Raymond Felton to be included in the deal so they don’t overload Victor Oladipo by asking him to play big minutes at the point, they can have his three year, $3.6 million dollar a year deal as well. The trade works under the cap with Felton included too. 

If the Knicks make this trade they get better today. The Magic get Iman Shumpert for helping them. It’s not implausible.

*Playing Kenyon Martin big minutes is killing the Knicks’ offense. Teams just don’t guard him and they’re not working well enough in the pick-and-roll to make teams concerned when he sets screens. Davis can shoot effectively enough to keep teams honest. And in the right matchups he can be an effective defender. Certainly better than Stoudemire. 

This NBA on TNT intro that kind of predicts what will happen this season is a lot of fun. But damn it’s hard on the Knicks (feels like everyone is lately, doesn’t it?) As the narrator says “forced to navigate a river of uncertainty, colored with the dye of speculation” (skip to about 1:00) they show Phil Jackson COACHING CARMELO ANTHONY (Melo is typically not receptive to his coaching) while the crowd chants what sounds like “WE WANT PHIL.”

Now you can make the argument that Knicks fans deserve this for always coveting shiny things. But damn, Mike Woodson doesn’t. All the other teams get fun stuff (Spoiler alert: the future Thunder get a championship, future James Harden gets the MVP award, future Rajon Rondo plays) while the Knicks get a weird future where Phil Jackson is coaching the Knicks and struggling to reach Carmelo Anthony (and Derrick Rose hangs seventy on them at MSG - skip to 1:10 for that one).

Actually, none of it is that weird. I guess it’s just weird to live in a world where it’s not that hard to make videos like this. I think I preferred the world where this was the standard.