It's been a while since the Knicks have approached the trade deadline with anything close to the robust 32-17 record they're sporting right now, so it's easy to understand why they'd be a bit unfamiliar with how to react to it.
Teams in the Knicks' position don't need to make a deal for the sake of making a deal. They should only make trades that clearly improve their chances of winning a title right now and such deals are hard to find when you've got an expensive, older roster.
The one player that doesn't qualify on either count is Iman Shumpert, which is probably why he's been the only real subject of trade chatter this year. Much of it has centered on the Phoenix Suns, who have reportedly been dangling Jared Dudley and a first-round pick for the chance to add Shump and his towering flattop to their lineup.
Mike Woodson's gone on record saying he's not interested in losing Shump, although he admits he's not the man pulling the strings. Now Carmelo Anthony has also joined the chorus against a deal.
"I love this team, I love the chemistry on this team -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Anthony said. "Right now we're tops in our division. That was one of our goals. Second in the Eastern Conference, we'll take that right now. There's always a lot of talk around the Knicks come trade time. We don't need that."
It's not that the Knicks don't need anything. With Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace still ailing, the team badly needs some interior help for Tyson Chandler on the defensive end of the floor because they are flailing more often than not on that end of the floor.
Dudley isn't that kind of player. He's a wing who likes to shoot from the outside, something the Knicks aren't lacking at present and something that isn't going to put them over the top in the Eastern Conference.
That's not to say it's an awful deal on the surface. Dudley's defense is solid, his presence would likely be a more seamless fit with Anthony at the four than Shumpert has been and the draft pick would be nice for a team that doesn't have many of their own in the coming years.
It still feels like selling way low on Shumpert, who has only recently returned from a serious knee injury. He certainly hasn't reached the level he was on at the end of last season, but is it really wise to pull the plug now given how much Shumpert can offer the team as a perimeter defender?
The answer here is no as long as the return is Dudley and a pick. It's hard to see any improvement for the Knicks' championship hopes in that deal unless that pick happens to turn into a superstar.
The Knicks have gone the "win now" route and such an approach can often mean sending out potential for more certainty in the present. Such a deal can be swallowed, but this one offers no more certainty that the Knicks can finish things in better position than they'd attain without making any significant tweaks.