Dec 5, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (5) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter of a game at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Hardaway Jr. Rising; Whats Next For Iman Shumpert?

Nov 16, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (5) gestures after scoring a three point basket during the first quarter against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Iman Shumpert has been shopped by the New York Knicks throughout this young season, but they are hesitant to give up this young guard because he is one of the only players on the Knicks roster with the potential to be great in future years.

Shumpert has still not found his niche on offense in his third season in the league, and has actually regressed in production from his rookie season.  This season he is averaging just 7.3 points, per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, and 1.7 steals per game.  Not too impressive…  To make matters worse, Shumpert has shot extremely poor from the field. The sans-flat-top Shumpert has shot 40% from the field, and 33% from behind the arc.  Keep in mind, Shumpert plays 29 minutes per game.  One must not forget that Shumpert is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, but his career is slowly spiraling out of control and he is looking more and more like a one-dimensional defensive player (Hint: Tony Allen) who struggles to score on offense.

On the other hand, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been overachieving this season, and has blown away previous expectations that were set when he was drafted.  This season, Hardaway Jr. has averaged 8.1 points per game, 1.0 rebounds per game, and 0.9 assists per game.  Again these numbers aren’t mind blowing.  In fact one could argue Shumpert’s are better because they are significantly more well rounded.  However, Hardaway Jr. plays only 17 minutes per game, which is 10 minutes per game less than Shumpert.  Another bonus?  Hardaway Jr. is shooting almost 47% from the field, and 42% from behind the arc.  Both of those percentages are significantly ahead of Shumpert’s.  One sacrifice of playing Hardaway Jr. over Shumpert is the Knicks lose their best perimeter defender, as Hardaway Jr. is nothing but an average defender.

Lets take a look at both of these players “Per 36 Minutes” averages.

Iman Shumpert: 9.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds per game, 2.5 asists per game, and 1.7 steals per game

Tim Hardaway Jr: 17.3 points per game, 2.1 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, and 0.9 steals per game

Again, while he lacks the all around game, Hardaway Jr is obviously the superior choice to Shumpert and 17 points per game is outstanding. Additionally,

The stats above prove that Shumpert is expendable for the Knicks because of the emergence of Tim Hardaway Jr.  I would have liked to see the Knicks go after Derrick Williams more aggressively before they let him slip away to the Kings.  The Knicks should still be shopping Shumpert proactively especially because of his qualms with Melo and Coach Woodson. Shumpert will likely be traded before the deadline, whether it be for a big man or a draft pick.

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Tags: Iman Shumpert New York Knicks Tim Hardaway Jr

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