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Iman Shumpert may be assigned to NBA D-League, Knicks coach says

Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he's considering the idea to help Shumpert rehab his torn ACL

TARRYTOWN, NY - Knicks coach Mike Woodson said he'd be interested in sending Iman Shumpert to the NBA D-League to help the young point guard recover from a nasty knee injury.

"He could possibly go that route," Woodson said. "He's not at that stage yet though. He's still in rehab and trying to get to the point where he can get on the floor on cut. He's on schedule, but that might not be a bad idea."

Shumpert was seen as rising star on the Knicks last season before an ACL tear in April has kept him sidelined since. Woodson talked about the idea of assigning Shumpert on Tuesday after the team's star forward Amar'e Stoudemire spent his first day on assignment with the Knicks affiliate the Erie BayHawks recovering from a knee injury of his own.

The BayHawks team ran drills with Stoudemire Tuesday at the Knicks training facility in Tarrytown. Joining Stoudemire on NBA assignment during the session were Chris Copeland and James White.

"(Copeland) and James White, they need a little bit of work getting some minutes," Woodson said. "They're young players that need to practice."

Woodson said one of the benefits of having a direct affiliation with an NBA D-League team is the Knicks can give their injured or newer players on the team the development they need as the Knicks focus on remaining the top team in the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Stoudemire practiced with the BayHawks Tuesday and was cautious when saying when he hoped to return to NBA action. Woodson said he is expected to practice with the BayHawks again on Wednesday and from there he will evaluate how Stoudemire is doing.

Woodson said it's Stoudemire's positive response to practicing with Erie that got him considering the same route for Shumpert.

"When he's ready he could spend a few days with the BayHawks to work on some things and then get him back up here and give him some opportunities," Woodson said. "The (BayHawks') schedule might present itself to help Iman."