Knicks, Hawks Discuss Blockbuster Trade?
Every year at the trade deadline, there is at least one move that comes out of left field – a deal that nobody talked about or saw coming in the weeks leading up to the deadline. This year, it sounds like the New York Knicks are the team that’s attempting to swing for the fences and pull off that deal.
While the Knicks have weighed several minor deals that would bring in a veteran role player – such as Jared Dudley, J.J. Redick or Luke Ridnour – they have also been gauging interest in an Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert package, according to sources. The Knicks are shopping this package in an attempt to land a significant player. One player that they’d like to pry loose is Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks, according to a league source. While it’s admittedly unlikely, it’s a rumor that has floated around in recent days.
It’s a deal that makes sense for New York. A trade of Stoudemire and Shumpert for Smith and a filler such as Zaza Pachulia, for example, would work under the cap. The Knicks get a big-time player and suddenly, they have the talent to contend for a championship this year (and for years to come if they can re-sign Smith this summer).
The question is why would Atlanta do this? The Hawks would be giving up their cap flexibility by taking on the two years and $45,090,881 remaining on Stoudemire’s contract. The only way Atlanta does this trade is if they’ve given up hope of signing a star free agent this summer and want to bring in a big name that they can sell to their fans. Money aside, Stoudemire has played well this season in New York and he and Al Horford would form a nice frontcourt in Atlanta. Also, the Hawks have made an effort to bring in players from Georgia to engage the fanbase such as Anthony Morrow and Lou Williams. Shumpert starred at Georgia Tech and could be a fan favorite in Atlanta. However, it’s hard to get past the money aspect since the Hawks seem determined to preserve their cap space.
Again, this is out of left field and seems unlikely, but it’s a rumor that’s floating out there so we’re passing it along.
If Atlanta truly gets desperate (and we’ve seen those kind of deals at past deadlines) and feels that they have to trade Smith, New York will be among the teams trying to scoop up the 27-year-old. Landing Smith seems unlikely for New York, but the Knicks are certainly trying to hit a home run and solidify themselves an elite team.
— Alex Kennedy