The New York Knicks have the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, but trade winds are swirling in Madison Square Garden as the deadline approaches just beyond All-Star weekend. Will Iman Shumpert be dealt? Carmelo Anthony doesn’t seem to think a trade is a good idea, and it appears head coach Mike Woodson agrees.
New York Knicks head coach Mike Woodson joined Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco on ESPN Radio New York to discuss winning 50 games faster than any coach in Knicks history, Carmelo Anthony’s assertion that the Knicks are in good shape as is, a potential Iman Shumpert trade, and the possibility of trading for a big grinder like Kenyon Martin.
On being the fastest Knicks coach to win 50 games:
“It’s a nice accomplishment … but this is not about me. This is about our fans that pay their hard-earned money to watch us play. It’s about the guys that are in uniform and the Knick organization as a whole. That, first and foremost, is what I’m about. The players basically have put me in this position, so it’s a nice accomplishment but we still have a long way to go.”
On if he agrees with Carmelo Anthony, who says the Knicks don’t have to consider making trades right now:
“Absolutely. We’ve had our ups and downs in terms of injuries. But again, we remain very strong as a team. And guys that were in uniform, they’ve helped us hold the fort down in terms of staying afloat until key guys got back. And we haven’t had a full deck all season, so it would be interesting to see, if we ever do, what the makeup of our ballclub is at that particular time. But I like our team as we go forward. I like the position that we’re in. We’re sitting at the top of our division.”
On reports that Iman Shumpert might be a “problem” for him and the organization:
“No, he’s not a problem at all. I don’t know where that rumor came from. You know as well as I do rumors always surface around this time about trade talks, and he’s been thrown out there. And that’s what it is. He’s thrown out there in these rumors, but Iman is a big part of what we do. I like everything about this young man in terms of how he plays, how he competes. He had an awesome rookie season. Unfortunately he had the bad injury, and he’s making his way back. And it’s going to be my job to continue to show him love and instill confidence in him as a player that he can get back to the level of where he was playing. Is he there yet? No, he’s not there yet. But in time he will get there.”
On if we can expect to see Shumpert in a Knicks uniform after the NBA trade deadline:
“You’ve got it. I don’t need to say anymore.”
On if there’s interest in Kenyon Martin:
“I know he’s floating out there and a lot of teams are looking at him. We just gotta assess what we have in front of us right now. I think that’s first and foremost, and give it a chance. And Rasheed will be back right after the All-Star break, practicing, and we’ll probably get him ready to go within the next week or two. And then Marcus will come not too long after that. So those two pieces are valuable for us as we move up the road, because it’s not like we’re asking these guys to play 20-plus minutes a game. But if they can give us 10-15 solid minutes when we need it, I think it’s gonna be valuable for our ballclub. Kenyon is an excellent player, don’t get me wrong there. But we like the makeup of our team as we sit here right now.”