GREENBURGH, N.Y. — One day after scoring a career-high 29 points, Knicks rookie Chris Copeland was sent Tuesday to the Erie BayHawks of the D-League.
Wearing a blue and white Knicks practice jersey, the 6-foot-8 Copeland joined Amar’e Stoudemire and James White (who was also assigned to Erie) in black BayHawks jerseys during a practice at the Knicks Westchester campus.
But don’t expect Copeland — whom we featured in this story by Dan Kelly — to stay down for long.
“He’s not going anywhere,” coach Mike Woodson said. “He’ll be back.”
Asked if Copeland and White were sent down so the BayHawks could have more bodies while Stoudemire practiced with them, Woodson said: “Yeah, and he needs the work, too. He only played 28 minutes [Monday] night. Him and James White, they both need that kind of work. They’re young players that need to practice.”
SHUMPERT NEARING RETURN
Iman Shumpert took shots with Carmelo Anthony at one basket Tuesday and could return to game action next month.
Woodson said Shumpert is “on schedule” for a return but gave no timeframe. He said Shumpert could do a D-League stint first.
“He could possibly go that route, too,” Woodson said. “Again, he’s not at that stage yet. He’s still in the rehab and really try to get on the floor where he can get to the point where he can cut and do some things. He’s on schedule, but that might not be a bad idea. Maybe we can get the BayHawks back up here for another day.”
Said Anthony: “I worked out with Shump this morning. He’s on his way back.”
The Knicks’ best perimeter defender, Shumpert has been out all season with an ACL injury suffered in last year’s playoff loss to Miami.