Since the dawn of the 21st century, the New York Knicks have been quite active during the months of January and February in the hopes of completing a trade. Last year was one of the rare seasons where the Knicks front office was silent during the deadline. However, it appears that the Knicks may be back in the hunt for trades as there are rumors swirling that New York is interested in Phoenix Sun small forward Jared Dudley. According to reports, the Suns are the team that is pursuing a deal in the hopes that they can trade Dudley and several other pieces for Iman Shumpert. The reports also state that the Knicks are hesitant to give up Shumpert, because of the high potential they still see in “rook”.
Jared Dudley, a 6’7” 225 pound shooting guard, was a 1st round pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2007, but was traded to the Suns in the 2008-2009 season and he has played in Phoenix ever since. This season, Dudley is averaging 11 points with a FG% of .478 and a 3P% of .391 while also shooting 81% from the charity stripe. He also chips in with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal a game while averaging 30 minutes per contest. Dudley is known around the league as a hard-working player who fights for loose balls and makes winning plays for his team. When the Knicks visited Phoenix on December 26, the night J.R. Smith hit the clutch game winning shot, Dudley completely torched the Knicks. He scored 36 points, including 5 3’s and 9-9 FT’s, while shooting an extraordinary 64.7%. During his time in Charlotte, Dudley played under former Knick coach Larry Brown, who also happens to be Mike Woodson’s mentor. Surely, Brown must be telling Coach Woodson all the great things that Dudley can bring to a team.
Jared Dudley will make $4.25 million this season with the Suns and if the Knicks were to trade for him, they would have to include players to match his salary. The most compatible Knicks contracts are those of Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Steve Novak. Felton and Kidd aren’t going anywhere and the Knicks need rebounding and defense off the bench so Camby can’t be traded. This leaves the most likely trade piece to be Steve Novak.
While some Knicks fans would become upset with even the thought of dealing Novak, it may not be the worst idea. Perhaps the Novakaine has worn off me, but I think Jared Dudley would be more useful to this team than Novak. Novak is one of the most lethal shooters in the game, but shooting is about the only thing he can do. He cannot defend well, rebound, pass, steal, block or do anything else adequately, besides create some matchup problems and jack up 3’s. Novak is great at putting away bad teams, but when the Knicks face better ball clubs he has been completely shut down by opposing defenders rather easily, due to his lack of ability to create his own shot. Leaving Novak on the floor for 20 minutes a night to score no points is way too much of a defensive liability. Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect Steve Novak and what he has been able to accomplish in his career and what he has done for the Knicks over the past year, but trading him away for Jared Dudley (if Phoenix were to accept such an offer) makes a lot of sense. Dudley cannot only shoot the 3 at an elite level, but he can also defend and contribute in a multitude of ways. Outside of trading away Iman Shumpert, would you want the Knicks to trade for Jared Dudley?