For weeks, rumors have swirled as to whether or not the Knicks would ship Iman Shumpert to a team like the Suns in exchange for perhaps a more versatile contributor in Jared Dudley.
As fate would have it, when push came to shove, New York actually ended up putting more eggs in the Shumpert basket as the NBA trade deadline came to pass.
According to reports, the Knicks have sent former starting two guard Ronnie Brewer to the Oklahoma City Thunder for a future second round pick.
The Arkansas product had been playing sparingly after losing his job to (who else?) Shumpert, appearing in a game for more than five minutes only once in New York’s last ten contests.
Though Brewer wasn’t playing all too much, there were talks of reinserting him back into the starting unit as the Knicks continue to struggle to find the right formula for success again. Trading him away before rolling the dice for a second time means New York ultimately have even more faith in Shumpert, who has experienced his own struggles since returning from a knee injury in January.
Frankly, Shumpert hasn’t looked the same all season long. It may be a risky move to assume he’ll resume his lockdown defensive ways come playoff time. Whatever happened to having an insurance policy?
Alas, perhaps the Knicks believe an insurance policy is more necessary when it comes to their front court depth. With Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby still sidelined, perhaps a big man like Kenyon Martin or Lou Amundson will be reeled in to take up Brewer’s spot on the roster instead.
Brewer undoubtedly fell into a rut after experiencing a severe shooting slump with New York. There’s no denying his inability to spread the floor (like he had to begin the season) offensively made him a liability in the starting five. That said, he’s certainly no slouch, either.
A bargain after signing the league’s minimum contract, Brewer is a sound defensive player who started 43 contests for the Eastern Conference leading Chicago Bulls just last season. The fact that a contending team like the Thunder is willing to take a chance on him (even if as nothing more than an insurance policy of their own) signals what kind of value the guard has the potential to bring a skilled squad.