A disturbed Carmelo Anthony weighed in emphatically on rumors the Knicks were listening to offers for slumping swingman Iman Shumpert, who has struggled in his return from ACL surgery.
“He shouldn’t be worrying about that,’’ Anthony said. “The Knicks shouldn’t even be in trade talks right now.’’
The Knicks don’t appear ready to move one of their bedrocks of the future, especially in a potential exchange for the Suns’ Jared Dudley and a first-round pick. But Knicks coach Mike Woodson felt it was important enough to talk to Shumpert before yesterday’s 102-88 loss to the Clippers in which Shumpert was assigned to Chris Paul and didn’t fare too well. Shumpert’s offensive slump continued as he scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting in 20:54.
“He said, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ ’’ Shumpert said. “Rumors are rumors. I just got to play ball. Something I can’t control.’’
Woodson said his daughter, who graduated from Georgia Tech in December, got angry at him over the speculation the Knicks could trade Shumpert.
“She called me and told me, ‘Daddy you’re not going to trade him,’ because they all went to Georgia Tech together,’’ Woodson said. “I was like, ‘Iman’s going to be right here with me.’ ’’
But Woodson admitted never say never.
“I don’t think you can ever tell a player he’s not, that’s kind of out of my hands,’’ Woodson said. “If owners came to me and said we have to do a deal, then you do the deal. I sat him down and I told him. He knows how I feel about him.“We show him love and we tell him he’s a big part of what we’re doing,’’ Woodson added. “Those are just trade rumors.’’
Paul, who finished with 25 points, had his way with Shumpert. Shumpert said it’s tough to judge because the Knicks have a help-oriented defense. But he knows he’s not the defensive demon he was before the knee surgery.
“It’s definitely frustrating to jump back in the middle of the season,’’ Shumpert said. “I didn’t think it would be this hard at all, but your mind and body is in two different places. I’ll figure it out.’’
The Paul assignment?
Melo: Don’t put Iman on block
New York Post | Feb 11