Shump: Knicks can win 60 games next year

June, 26, 2013
6/26/13
9:00
AM ET
Iman Shumpert has high hopes for the Knicks next season.

"Hopefully we can win 60 [games] next year," Shumpert said Tuesday at his second annual Teaches Hoops youth camp. "We just want to build on what we already have. We got out of the first round; now we've just got to build [on that]."

Shumpert will play with the Knicks' summer league team in Las Vegas in July. He's expected to see some time at lead guard over the summer. In anticipation of that, Shumpert said, he's been working on his ballhandling.

"I'm working on getting my handle tighter and making decisions quicker," Shumpert said.

There's an inherent risk in Shumpert playing in the summer league because he tore his ACL in May 2012. That's not a concern for Shumpert, though.

"You can't go out there always thinking you're going to get hurt," he said.

Shumpert showed plenty of potential on offense late in the season. He averaged 9.3 points per game in the playoffs for the Knicks and poured in 19 points in Game 6 against Indiana.

If free agent J.R. Smith signs with another team, Shumpert believes he can fill the void as the Knicks' secondary scorer next season.

"I think I can. I've always accepted all challenges. I would just take that as another challenge," Shumpert said.

EARLY INTEREST FOR J.R., COPELAND: J.R. Smith officially became a free agent Tuesday. A source with knowledge of Smith's thinking says his preference is to stay with the Knicks. But he might have a tough decision to make this summer.

League sources say that, based on early conversations, Milwaukee and Detroit are among a group of teams expected to be interested in Smith.

Both teams have significant cap space and could make an offer richer than the $5 million annually over four years that the Knicks can offer.

Meanwhile, Chris Copeland was extended a qualifying offer by the Knicks on Tuesday. The offer is for one year guaranteed at $988,872, and Copeland has until July 23 to accept it.

According to a league source, there are expected to be several suitors for Copeland's services. Among the teams that have expressed an early interest in Copeland are the Pelicans, Bucks, Mavs, Jazz, Pacers, Wizards, Thunder, Lakers and Raptors.

KNICKS WORK OUT WESTCHESTER NATIVE TONY TAYLOR: The Knicks are looking all over the country for help at point guard. But they might have found a candidate to fill the void in their own backyard.

The club worked out Tony Taylor last week at its Westchester practice facility. Taylor grew up in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., just a few miles from the facility.

Taylor will play with the Thunder in the Orlando summer league and the Heat in the Las Vegas summer league. He was among a group of D-League players and overseas free agents to work out with the Knicks. Brooklyn native Malcolm Grant also participated in the workout.

Taylor, who had a standout career at George Washington, thrived with the Tulsa 66ers in the D-League last season. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 11.2 points and 5.4 assists per game.

He's hopeful he can hook up with an NBA team this season.

"This is the start of a dream come true. ... Hopefully everything unfolds the right way and I'll be able to be on an NBA roster," Taylor said.

The Knicks have a void to fill at point guard. They would be wise to keep an eye on Taylor this summer as training camp approaches.

The Knicks also worked out ex-Knick and free agent Shawne Williams and free agent Quincy Douby this week. Brazilian free agent forward Alexandre Paranhos will work out for the Knicks on Wendesday. He worked out for the Nets on Monday and the Sixers on Tuesday.

You can follow Ian Begley on Twitter.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Carmelo Anthony
PTS AST STL MIN
27.4 3.1 1.2 38.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 9.6
AssistsR. Felton 5.6
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2

NEW YORK CALENDAR