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Report: Iman Shumpert integral in Phil Jackson’s rebuilding plan

Mar 18, 2014, 1:21 PM EDT

Iman Shumpert, Alexis Ajinca

Phil Jackson, at his introductory press conference, said he’d determine which current New York Knicks fit – and can fit – his vision for the team.

Carmelo Anthony does, or at least can. Jackson said that very clearly.

How many other Knicks has Jackson reached a verdict on? At least one, reportedly.

Marc Berman of the New York Post:

Now Shumpert appears to have a legitimate future with Phil Jackson’s Knicks. According to a league source, Jackson is a fan of Shumpert.

Shumpert is a defensive-minded player who sacrifices his game and doesn’t need to score a lot to have an impact.

“Iman is still part of this,’’ a league source familiar with the Knicks’ thinking told The Post.

Shumpert is 23, an impressive athlete, a versatile defender and an intriguing offensive player. It shouldn’t have taken paying Jackson $12 million per year for Shumpert to play a prominent role in the Knicks’ future, but here we are.

Now, the question become what Shumpert does with this opportunity. He regressed a little this year, and next season will be his final year of his rookie deal. Even if Jackson likes him now, how much will he be willing to pay Shumpert on his next contract?

If Shumpert learns the nuances of the triangle offense and taps his defensive potential, it could be quite a bit. But those are still ifs – even if Shumpert is excited by Jackson. Via Berman:

“I love Phil Jackson,’’ Shumpert said. “Just being a child, seeing him, how he conducted the Bulls. I just love him.’’

Like Jackson with the Knicks, the feeling is mutual. For now.

Really, it matters only how Jackson evaluates Shumpert once he’s worked closely with him. I don’t expect the new Knicks president’s perception to change with Shumpert – at least until Shumpert’s impending raise nears.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Mar 18, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    SEE HE IS VALUABLE!

  2. timb12 - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:00 PM

    I wanted to get rid of my car, but Phil Jackson told me it was a nice car, so I kept the car. All hail the Zen Master!

    • spursareold - Mar 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      Phil doesn’t understnad that when you drive around the block, it’s a rectangle, not a triangle.

    • southbeachtalent - Mar 18, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      hahaha

  3. conjecture101 - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    I could actually see Iman running what the call the “lead guard” in the triangle offense. Ron Harper ran this in Chicago.

    • cmehustle - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      Lol, so did Steve Kerr and John Paxson. None of those players ever really had the ball in their hands besides on a kick out, and they either shot or passed it right back to Jordan/Kobe/Shaq.

  4. csbanter - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    the ink is barely dry on Zen Master contract and all of a sudden shumpert is a major player going forward. Shumpert is Jimmy Butler lite. OK I said it.

  5. cmehustle - Mar 18, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    I really like Shump, even tho I despise the ‘Brickerbockers’. I was really hoping they would get rid of him, because I do think he has potential. Finally someone on the bricks has come to their senses about this kid.

    • trevor123698 - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:44 AM

      im with you but he also has A torn ACL under his belt. he is like a jeremy maclin in the nfl. a 6 million dollar player on the verge of bring a useless bum who signed for anything he could get

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