Updated 01:51 AM EDT, Sun, Apr 18, 2021

NBA Trade Rumors 2014: New York Knicks Should Get Rid of These Players if They Want an NBA Title

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Time is not on the New York Knicks' side as they wind down their 2013-14 NBA season.

As of Wednesday, the Knicks (33-45) find themselves on the outside looking in at the NBA playoff standings, 1.5 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for the eighth and final playoff seed in the East. At stake: New York's first-round draft pick in the loaded 2014 NBA Draft, and possibly, their last chance to convince Carmelo Anthony to stick around with the Knicks past this summer, when he becomes a free agent.

Added to the fact that they're facing three tough playoff teams in Chicago, Brooklyn and Toronto in those last three games, and the words "Dead Men Walking" would be pretty accurate to sum up the Knicks's playoff chances right now.

Despite showing signs of life late in the season with a desperate 11th hour surge, it may ultimately be far too late for the reigning Atlantic Division champions to save their season as they face a summer full of decisions to make. Top to bottom, this is a Knicks team that needs a facelift in the worst way. While they relied on veteran grit and the red-hot scoring of Anthony - last season's scoring champion, they only had Melo to carry the load this year as key veterans like Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace retired while injuries ravaged the team throughout the season. New team president Phil Jackson, who many are looking to as the potential savior of the franchise, has his work cut out for him as he aims to rejuvenate the Knicks into NBA championship contenders. There are a few moves he could make that could help accelerate the rebuilding process. Let's take a look at some of them:

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J.R. Smith
Sure, he's started to come alive near the end of the season. However, the bottom line is that it was too little, too late for last season's NBA Sixth Man of the Year to get his act together when the team needed him most to be his usual energetic, high-scoring self in the first half of the season and in the immediate period after the All-Star break. Inconsistent on the court and prone to troublesome antics off the court, Smith is highly talented, but more trouble than he's worth. Packaging him in a deal with one or two other expendable players could give the Knicks either one fairly good player or, at the very least, a few key reliable role players they could count on down the stretch.

Raymond Felton
From star to stunk. That, in a nutshell, sums up Felton's 2013-14 NBA season. Felton was looking promising at the start of last season in his return to New York, but just like in the second half of that year, Felton has been plagued by injuries, and inconsistent shooting have not helped his cause. If the Knicks are serious in making their reported play for Rajon Rondo, there's certainly no harm in cleaning house a little bit earlier by shipping their maligned starting point guard elsewhere.

Andrea Bargnani
Off the dome, there would be one word to describe the seven-foot, 28-year-old power forward's game this season: disappointing.

Bargnani, currently out with an elbow injury, saw his production drop after starting the season off hot with 16.2 points off 47.4 percent shooting, and has been limited to only 42 games this season. Scheduled to eat up $12 million in salary cap space next season, that's a hefty sum for a player who has played only marginally well and may be in questionable health for the following year. Bargnani is young and talented enough where, despite his hefty salary, he could get the Knicks a rather handsome package in a trade, especially considering that his contract goes off the books after next year. If New York puts the Italian hoops star on the trade block, teams looking to clear up salary cap space could come calling.

Kenyon Martin
Martin is physical, tenacious, and a tough rebounder who can guard, which are all qualities that the Knicks need. He's also 36 years old. That the Knicks don't need. As helpful as Martin, currently sidelined with an ankle injury, was last year during New York's playoff run, he doesn't have that much left in the tank. And to win, New York needs some younger, more durable bodies on the roster to go to war with elite teams like the Heat and Pacers.

Iman Shumpert
Shumpert is young, energetic and a hellacious defender in the backcourt. All of those are unique intangibles on a Knicks roster sorely lacking in talent and youth right now. However, after suffering another knee injury this season, added to the devastating ACL injury he suffered two seasons ago during Game 1 of the 2012 NBA playoffs, Knicks management would be foolish to not have any questions about Shumpert's long-term viability to the team. Add to the fact that his offensive production isn't exactly blowing anyone away (only 6.0 points this season) and Shumpert is not only expendable, but he'd be quite an attractive trading chip for New York to barter with on the trade market.

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