Twitter Mailbag: Shump on the outs?

November, 16, 2013
11/16/13
2:45
PM ET
Welcome to this week's Twitter mailbag. I like to take questions from you on Twitter once a week and answer them in this space. This week, we discuss the growing Pablo Prigioni/Raymond Felton debate, Iman Shumpert trade rumors and J.R. Smith in the starting five.

1.

Hey, Verts, I think you bring up an interesting point. For what it's worth, Woodson addressed this Friday during his weekly radio appearance on ESPN New York 98.7 FM. He basically said Prigioni has been successful with the minutes he's been allotted. So it doesn't sound as if he's inclined to play him more.

Defensively, I think Prigioni is fantastic at providing full-court pressure on the ball. But I'm not sold on his ability to defend in the half court. At 36, I don't think his foot speed is where it needs to be to keep up with most lead guards. And he can beaten on a back-to-the-basket move.

For what it's worth, both Felton and Prigioni have equal plus/minus ratings (-1). That stat doesn't mean much to me this early in the season. But it's interesting the Knicks allow 7.8 more points per 100 possessions when Prigioni is off the court. They give up 6.7 more points per 100 possessions when Felton is off the court. Take that how you will. Though if I'm Woodson, I'd consider starting Prigioni and bringing Felton off the bench. And I'm not completely minimizing Felton's importance here.

The Knicks have plenty of scorers in the second unit, so it's important to have a strong distributor both in the starting five and coming off the bench.

2.

Hey, what's up Sonny? Jeremy is still at least a couple weeks away from taking the court. Remember, he's coming off of surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot. So he may not be ready to contribute until early December. The BayHawks play their first game Nov. 22. I'd be surprised if Tyler suits up for the game. Another factor at play with Tyler is this: if the Knicks move Shumpert for a big man, then the need for Tyler could decrease.

3.

Hey, Stefan, if I had to speculate, I think talks will heat up at some point between Denver and the Knicks. I wouldn't be surprised if the two teams end up completing a Faried-for-Shumpert swap. That being said, the Knicks are dangling Shumpert out there and there are plenty of suitors.

According to my colleague Marc Stein, Sacramento is said to be interested in Shumpert. But there doesn't appear to be an obvious match in a player-for-player trade. So the Knicks and Kings would probably have to find a third team to get involved.

4.

An Omer Asik deal would be tough. He counts for $8 million on the books and that's not an easy number to match if you're the Knicks. So the Knicks would need to get a third team involved if they want in on the Asik sale.

Asik or no Asik, I think the Knicks make a move to add a big eventually. It may not even be a big name. It could be a big body to provide insurance until Chandler gets healthy. It's important to remain around .500 until Chandler returns so the Knicks don't have to dig out of a significant hole when they're at full health.

5.

I think publicly Woodson would say he's still trying things out. But I'd be surprised if Woodson takes J.R. out of the starting lineup when the Knicks are at full health. Woodson talked all preseason about having Smith and Shumpert compete for the starting job. And he's made it pretty clear in his comments that he'd like to see J.R. start. With the Knicks (3-5) struggling thus far, Woody can justify starting J.R. as a way to jump-start the offense.

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
ReboundsC. Anthony 8.1
AssistsP. Prigioni 3.5
StealsI. Shumpert 1.2
BlocksA. Bargnani 1.2