Feb. 10, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks point guard Iman Shumpert (21) guards Los Angeles Clippers power forward Lamar Odom (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Clippers won 102-88. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Rumors: Phoenix Suns Pursuing New York Knicks Guard Iman Shumpert

New York Knicks combo guard Iman Shumpert is arguably the second best backcourt defender in the Eastern Conference (behind Avery Bradley of the Celtics), and the Phoenix Suns are seeking to correct the mistake they made in the 2011 NBA Draft when they passed on selecting Iman Shumpert to take Markieff Morris of Kansas. The report of the Suns interest comes from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

While Morris has carved a nice niche for himself on the Suns and is going to be a fine NBA role player, Shumpert has NBA First team defensive talent. Phoenix realizes that kind of game- changing player could be just what they need to change things on a team that has struggled defensively for as long as recent memory can stretch.

The Suns are reported to be dangling forward Jared Dudley and a possible draft pick to acquire Shumpert, but the question is whether that will be anywhere near enough for Knicks GM Glen Grunwald to consider trading the Georgia Tech product.

The Knicks are 8-3 since Shumpert returned from injury and the depth he adds to the backcourt could be even more vital than the boost Dudley would give the Knicks from behind the arc. With New York having emerged as a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference this year, the Knicks may not seek to disrupt the chemistry that they’ve established. Moreover, Shumpert is a rare young Knick on an aged roster that will have trouble regenerating once their older stars decline (and retire).

The possible first round pick is enticing, but striking gold in the draft is a risky proposition, and from the way the Suns are pursuing Shumpert, the indication is that the Knicks have already done so once.

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