[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] superstar shooting guard [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] just returned to action, but that hasn't stopped the team from inquiring about other backcourt players.


The Lakers recently called the Knicks to express their interest in [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], according to sources close to the situation.


No trade is imminent, and sources say the Lakers' call was more about doing their due diligence; it's well-known Shumpert is available. The Lakers are unlikely to make a deal before the end of their current four-game trip, which concludes Tuesday night in Memphis.


But with [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], who is expected to miss at least six weeks with an elbow injury, joining point guards [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] on the injured list, the Lakers could be interested in strengthening their backcourt.
Shumpert is more of a shooting guard, but with Bryant taking on more of a playmaking role -- averaging a career-high 6.7 assists while attempting fewer than nine shots a game -- since returning from a torn Achilles tendon last Sunday, it's easy to see the two playing together.


Shumpert is struggling through a disappointing season, and the Knicks have discussed trades involving him with several other teams, including the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and [Only registered and activated users can see links. ].


Sources say the Lakers also are interested in another Knicks player -- center [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. The Lakers did not inquire about Chandler when they called about Shumpert, but they are weighing whether to propose a [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]-for-Chandler trade, according to sources.


The Knicks are not looking to move Chandler -- several teams have contacted them about him, sources said -- but if a club agreed to take back struggling guard [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], the Knicks would consider such a deal.


With Smith having signed a three-year, $18 million contract this past summer, the Lakers aren't likely to be interested in him.