Jan 2, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert (21) dunks during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The former 1st round pick is near rock bottom in the Big Apple. Could the San Antonio Spurs give Iman Shumpert a reprieve?
Carmelo Anthony presence still hinders value of Shumpert
The installation of the triangle offense was expected with the New York Knicks now that Phil Jackson is in town. Next on the agenda is finding the right players to run it. Many believe that young guard Iman Shumpert is not one of them. After tearing his ACL in 2012, he returned this past season and posted a career-lowe 6.7 points per game, marking the second time that average has gone down since his rookie season. His inability to score consistently leads many to believe Carmelo Anthony will see more and more double teams as a result, which is why the cries for trading Shumpert have intensified.
Flexibility of Spurs system under Gregg Popovich could incorporate him
One team that could find serious value in the 24-year old is the world champion San Antonio Spurs. Their roster is in need of young talent as their old guard of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker approach retirement. For all his struggles on the offensive end, Iman Shumpert is a top notch on-ball defender. San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich loves athletes who can guard opposing scorers and is willing to play team-oriented basketball. Shumpert himself has said part of the reason he has struggled in New York is because the offensive system wasn’t giving him enough touches. Most of the focus was on Anthony. By getting more chances to go to the basket he feels he can gain confidence in his surgically-repaired knee and become a better offensive force.
San Antonio historically has had success elevating players who have struggled elsewhere. Could Iman Shumpert become their next comeback story? Everything depends on what Jackson and his staff have in mind.