Iman Shumpert is entering the final year of his rookie deal with the Knicks, and is eligible for a contract extension from the team as long as something gets done before the league-mandated deadline of Oct. 31.
But for a few reasons, a deal is unlikely to take place.
Shumpert’s scoring and field goal percentage have dipped in each of the last two seasons, and while he has value on the defensive end of the floor, New York hasn’t been drawn to that aspect of his game to the point where offering a long-term commitment makes sense. In fact, the team hasn’t even bothered to discuss a contract extension with Shumpert, and seems more than happy to let him test the market as a restricted free agent next summer.
According to league sources, the Knicks haven’t had any contact with Shumpert or his representatives about a possible extension.
New York still has about four weeks to start talks with Shumpert, but the feeling here is that it will be content to let him enter next summer as a restricted free agent.
The Knicks are trying to keep their salary commitments at a minimum for the summer of 2015 and 2016, when they hope to be active in free agency.
New York hasn’t always been Shumpert’s biggest fan, and dangled him as trade bait more than once last season.
The Knicks may have their sights set on creating cap space to lure future free agents to more quickly build the team into a contender, but you need young role players on the roster who don’t consume too much salary. There’s a real opportunity here to lock up Shumpert with a favorable deal from the team’s standpoint, before he has the chance to increase his value in a new system this season.
But at this point, it appears as though New York is content to take its chances.