Iman Shumpert's body language hasn't been great since trade rumors began. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
The Knicks lost their third straight game on Tuesday night, and one of the culprits in their slow start is Iman Shumpert, who the team expected to make a leap in his third season.
As a result, New York has explored trade opportunities for the 23-year-old, and Walt "Clyde" Frazier, who works on Knicks broadcasts, thinks the rumors have affected Shumpert's play.
DOLLINGER: NBA power rankings
“He’s always been a very confident guy,’’ Frazier told The New York Post before the Knicks’ 92-86 loss to the Pistons. “I think he just has to find his role. Sometimes he doesn’t look like he’s happy out here. Maybe that’s because he heard the rumors he’s being traded. But he’s very stern in his face. It doesn’t look like he’s having fun.’’
Shumpert is averaging 8.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists this season, and Frazier sees his youth and potential as reasons for being dangled as trade bait.
“You look at team, he’s a valuable asset,’’ Frazier said. “One of the few guys they can trade. Not surprised by that.’
“It has to be a breakout year for him. He was there as a rookie. The injury set him back, but he came back strong last year. This has to be the year he shows something.’’
The Knicks (3-7) play host to the Pacers (9-1) on Wednesday night.
THOMSEN: LaMarcus Aldridge feeling sense of urgency in Portland