If you’re Knicks President Phil Jackson, do you trade Iman Shumpert for Rajon Rondo, or do you try to keep Shumpert so he and Rondo can play together, which could make the Knicks have the best defensive backcourt in the league.
Here come the ‘Rondo-to-the-Knicks’ rumblings, again! Rumors are semi heating up, about the Knicks being very interested in acquiring Rondo. There’s feeling around the league that the Boston Celtics will be willing to trade Rondo before the trade deadline, who’ll be a free agent come this offseason.
I always had this idea that Jackson wouldn’t have two guards who don’t score — that wouldn’t fit the “triangle” offense. That’s what I always thought — if he got Rondo to New York, Shumpert would have to go. Shumpert can score, but he’s very streaky. He’ll go through stretches where he’s scoring 25-points per game for a week, then go ice cold for two weeks. And Rondo is more of a facilitator than a scorer.
Although, if Jackson decided that he’d want to keep Shumpert and acquire Rondo with another package of players or player, the defense could upgrade with Rondo and Shumpert in the backcourt. The Knicks could be able to matchup against teams with fast, young point guards like the Washington Wizards (who have John Wall and Bradley Beal). Or other point-guards in the league like Kyrie Irving and Derrick Rose.
If the Knicks traded Shumpert for Rondo, the Knicks would have a backcourt of Rondo and Jose Calderon, which, I think, Jackson and coach Derek Fisher might want to go with; Calderon’s a better outside shooter than Shumpert and better suited for the triangle.
But don’t get it twisted, Rondo can open wide lanes for Shumpert to drive the ball. We all know how well Shumpert can finish to the basket with his leaping ability. Rondo can also give him lots of alley-oop passes. Rondo can make Shumpert a better scorer.
If the Knicks had Rondo and Shumpert on the same team, I’d put Rondo at the one, Calderon at the two and play Shumpert at the three — I feel he can defend any small forward in the league. Then I’d put Carmelo Anthony at the four, which he likes and is big enough to handle.
A Rondo and Shumpert combo at the defensive end, would be dangerous in the playoffs. Look at the Memphis Grizzlies — they’re always giving teams high seed teams a tough time because they play lock down defense. They can’t score, but if the Knicks play defense like they do, they can score since they have Carmelo Anthony.
First is first and the Knicks would have to be in heavy talks with the Boston Celtics to acquire Rondo, in order for them to answer these questions. And it’s still very slim of a chance Rondo coming here this season. Him breaking his hand and being out 6-8 weeks probably helped the Knicks chances since now the Celtics might want to get anything for Rondo, before he hits free agency this offseason.