Iman Shumpert

And-Ones: LeBron, Silver, Labissiere, Bender

LeBron James isn’t pressuring the Cavs to make moves amid the absence of key players, observes Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. Kevin Love is set to take part in a full practice for the first time this weekend, Vardon’s Northeast Ohio Media Group colleague Chris Haynes writes, but Kyrie Irving is still out, Iman Shumpert isn’t expected back for about three months, and Tristan Thompson remains unsigned.

“Until Kyrie and Tristan and Shump is ready, we have enough guys that will all help,” James said. “It’s not about me carrying the team and that nature. We’re all grown men, we’re all professionals and they’re here to do their job.”

While we wait to see if the Cavs can indeed overcome being shorthanded, here’s more from around the league:

  • It’s unclear whether formal labor talks between commissioner Adam Silver and union executive director Michele Roberts have taken place, but Silver told Raúl Barrigón of HoopsHype that the two have remained in communication (All Twitter links). “We continue to talk all the time,” Silver said. “I think Michele Roberts and I both have the same goal which is to avoid any sort of work stoppage. And we know one of the ways to avoid a work stoppage is to talk early and often. And we’re doing that.”
  • Top 2016 draft prospect Skal Labissiere has yet to receive NCAA clearance to play this season at Kentucky, his guardian tells Jeff Goodman of The NCAA has scrutinized the relationship between the guardian and the 7’0″ forward/center, Goodman hears, but it’s not clear if that’s the reason for the holdup. Labissiere is the top prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings while Chad Ford of has him second.
  • Dragan Bender impressed NBA scouts and executives with his play in exhibitions in Chicago and New York last week, according to Ford, who has the 17-year-old small forward at No. 3 in his ranking of the top 2016 draft prospects (Twitter links).
  • Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari became the first players to sign renegotiations-and-extensions under the current collective bargaining agreement this summer, but with the cap rising, a greater chance exists that this rarely used contract tool comes into play more often, notes Nate Duncan of Nylon Calculus. Duncan examines potential renegotiation-and-extension scenarios for DeMarcus Cousins, James Harden and others, arguing that such a move would make sense for both Cousins and the Kings in 2017.

Agent Happy Walters Leaves Relativity Sports

Prominent NBA agent Happy Walters has left Relativity Media and its Relativity Sports offshoot, Variety’s James Rainey reports. Walters represents John Wall, Jimmy Butler, Ty Lawson, Monta Ellis, Amar’e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert and other notable NBA names. Billionaire and Relativity part-owner Ron Burkle, who was once a part of the bidding group that ultimately bought the Kings in 2013, will take over as chairman of Relativity Sports, tweets Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal.

Relativity was in the news this summer when DeAndre Jordan, then a client of Relativity agents Dan Fegan and Jarinn Akana, pulled his infamous flip-flop and re-signed with the Clippers after verbally committing to the Mavs. Jordan later let go of Fegan and Akana, and Austin Rivers, the son of Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers, did the same.

Several Walters clients made moves this offseason. Butler scored a new five-year deal worth more than $92MM with the Bulls, Ellis signed with the Pacers for nearly $44MM over four years, Shumpert re-upped with the Cavs on a four-year deal worth $40MM and Stoudemire joined the Heat for the minimum salary. Lawson gave up the guarantee on the final season of his contract to facilitate a trade to the Rockets, a move that could cast him into free agency this coming summer.

Walters is forming his own company, Rainey hears, though it’s unclear if all his clients will follow him. One of them, Maurice Harkless, faces a November 2nd deadline to sign a rookie scale extension, but the chances of an extension for Harkless, whom the Blazers acquired via trade this summer, have long seemed remote.

Iman Shumpert To Miss Three Months With Injury

2:59pm: The Cavs don’t have immediate plans to address the injury with a roster move, Griffin said, according to Dave McMenamin of, but he didn’t rule out doing so at some point.

“I think we look at this as a very similar situation to what we went through in the playoffs last year: Next man up,” Griffin said. “We have a roster we feel is deep enough to withstand one injury like this, and so we’re going to give people a chance to kind of absorb it from within, but obviously we’ve been paying attention to a lot of opportunities that we may be able to [use] to improve the group. We’ll just play it by ear.”

11:32am: Iman Shumpert will miss the next 12-14 weeks because of a wrist injury, the team announced. The swingman, who re-signed with the Cavaliers for four years and $40MM this summer, recently suffered a ruptured extensor carpi ulnaris sheath in his right wrist, according to the team. Shumpert hit his wrist on the rim during a workout last week but continued to play through it, GM David Griffin said today, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter link). The injury is poised to force Shumpert out for training camp and the first two months of the regular season.

Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov and Anderson Varejao are all coming off surgery, and while all were reportedly to be ready for camp, Griffin said Monday the team will take it slow with Irving and Love and wouldn’t lay out a timetable for their return to game action, notes Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. If they return to playing by the start of the regular season, it would combine with the late summer signing of J.R. Smith to soften the blow of the Shumpert injury.

Cleveland would need to have at least four players who are expected to be out for an extended length of time to qualify for a hardship provision, which would allow for a 16th regular season roster spot. The team can’t apply for a disabled player exception, which would give the team cap flexibility to acquire a player, unless Shumpert is deemed likely to miss the season. Since neither scenario is in play, the Cavs will have to replace Shumpert using existing means. They can’t sign any free agent for more than the minimum salary, but they have a $10,522,500 trade exception. The team would probably use that exception only if necessary, preferring to save it for next offseason, as Haynes explained to Hoops Rumors in a recent installment of The Beat.

Shumpert took over for Smith in the starting lineup during the postseason, so Smith figures to flip back into the role of starter at the wing in Shumpert’s absence. Backup point guards Mo Williams and Matthew Dellavedova can slide over to shooting guard, while Richard Jefferson and James Jones are available at small forward. The injury may well force 30-year-old LeBron James to play more minutes than would be ideal at the start of the season. In any case, the depth is a product of the team’s offseason player personnel work, as Williams, Dellavedova, Jefferson, Jones and James all signed contracts with the team this summer, just like Shumpert and Smith.

Do you think the Cavs should use their trade exception to deal for someone to replace Shumpert, or ride it out until he gets back? Comment to tell us.

Atlantic Notes: Larkin, Nets, Lee

 Shane Larkin admits he had trouble fitting into the Knicks’ triangle offense and feels he’s a much better fit with the Nets, Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News reports. In Part 5 of a series of Q&As between Knicks president Phil Jackson and author Charley Rosen posted on ESPN’s website, Jackson said in February that Larkin had “failed to show any growth since the start of the season.” Larkin responded in a tweet on Monday. “Couldn’t grow in an offense I wasn’t comfortable in. … Glad I’m across the river now.” The Nets emphasize a faster pace with a pick-and-roll heavy attack, Abramson adds. A free agent after the season, Larkin signed a two-year, $3MM deal with the Nets with a player option on the second season.
In other news around the Atlantic Division:
  • In the same Q&A with Rosen, Jackson spelled out his reasons for trading J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cavaliers. “J.R. was more interested in hunting for his own shots than in buying into the triangle. Plus, he has a player’s option for next season that would limit our flexibility. As for Shumpert, mainly because of injuries, he’d take one step forward and two steps backward. And because of a salary ‘hold’ on his rookie contract, a CBA format that limits available money in free agency.” Jackson was presumably referring to Shumpert’s cap hold, which would have taken up more than $6.542MM on New York’s cap this summer.
  • David Lee nearly signed with the Celtics the last time he was a free agent, Ben Rohrbach of tweets. Lee signed a six-year contract with the Knicks and then was shipped to the Warriors in a sign-and-trade in 2010. The Celtics completed a long-rumored trade for Lee on Monday.  Lee was immediately interested in joining the Celtics when they showed interest in acquiring him, according to Jay King of (Twitter link).
  • The Nets used their $2,339,131 Kevin Garnett trade exception to acquire Steve Blake from the Trail Blazers last month, as NetsDaily indicates. It was one of three exceptions Brooklyn could have used to accommodate the deal. Blake’s salary, since moved to the Pistons in the Quincy Miller trade, left a virtually unusable $262,131 remaining on the Garnett exception.

Central Notes: Shumpert, LeBron, Monroe

Six teams offered a first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Iman Shumpert at the trade deadline this past February, and three of them had max-level cap flexibility this summer, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group. That made Cleveland’s front office “incredibly nervous” as it sought to re-sign the swingman in restricted free agency, despite its ability to match competing offers for him. The Kings were one of the teams that thought about an offer before Shumpert, who’d made it a priority to remain with the Cavs, did just that and signed a new deal.

“We were thinking about it,” Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac told Haynes, “but we had some other options that came up better for us.”

Haynes wonders just what those better options could have been, but the upshot is that Shumpert is staying put. Here’s more from around the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers certainly aren’t trading LeBron James, but if they did, they’d have to pay a 15% trade kicker as part of his new contract, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The bonus would only take effect if he were to opt in for next season.
  • The precise value of Mo Williamstwo-year deal with the Cavs is $4,294,500, with $2.1MM coming this season and the rest set aside for the player option year in 2016/17, as Pincus shows on Basketball Insiders (Twitter link).
  • The Bucks had been trying to trade Zaza Pachulia in the days after they struck a deal with Greg Monroe, sources told Marc Stein of Milwaukee swapped Pachulia to the Mavs last week.
  • Monroe told Scoop Jackson of that if the Pistons had put on the same sort of hard push that the Clippers made to convince DeAndre Jordan to renege on his deal with the Mavs, he might have stuck with Detroit. “I can’t lie, it probably would have made me think, maybe affected my decision a bit,” said Monroe, whose deal with the Bucks is official, so there’s no going back now. “I mean, I was there for five years, my whole NBA career to this point. I knew the people in the organization, I loved my teammates, so I mean, I can’t lie. I’m not saying if that had happened, I would have changed my mind, but I know that would have affected me, and I probably would have had to ponder a little bit more.” 

Cavs Re-Sign Iman Shumpert

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

JULY 9TH, 1:04pm: The deal is official, the team announced.

“Iman is a versatile, two-way player who embodies much of the grit, determination and defense-first mentality our group became identified by,” GM David Griffin said. “He is evolving as a playmaker on both ends and his impact on our group was enormous throughout our Finals run.”

JULY 1ST, 6:34pm: The Cavaliers and restricted free agent Iman Shumpert have agreed to a new contract, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link). The deal will be for four years and $40MM, and the final season will include a player option, Kennedy relays. The Lakers, Raptors, Bucks, and Mavericks were all interested in the defensive specialist’s services.

Shumpert was acquired at midseason by the Cavaliers along with J.R. Smith, who opted out of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It’s unclear if Shumpert’s deal will mean that Smith is destined to play elsewhere in 2015/16, though LeBron James reportedly wants the Cavs to re-sign the guard, so one has to wonder if that could outweigh the team’s reservations about Smith.

The 25-year-old played well for the Cavaliers last season, appearing in 38 games, though only one as a starter. Shumpert notched averages of 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists, along with a slash line of .410/.338/.667.

Pacific Notes: Davis, Shumpert, Brewer, Hill

The Clippers are set to ink Paul Pierce to a three year, $10MM deal, which will eliminate a major roster weakness of a season ago. Los Angeles is also looking at Wesley Johnson, Jeremy Lin, Corey Brewer, and Willie Green, Sam Amick of USA Today notes (on Twitter). Though it’s not clear if the addition of Pierce will end the Clippers’ potential pursuit of Brewer and Johnson, both of whom can man the three spot.

Here’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • The Lakers were one of the first teams to reach out to restricted free agent Iman Shumpert, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweets. Shumpert is set to ink a four-year, $40MM deal to return to the Cavaliers.
  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers has reached out to representatives of free agent Glen Davis, Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets. Davis appeared in 74 games for Los Angeles in 2014/15, averaging 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per contest. Rivers also has been in contact with Caron Butler‘s representatives, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times adds (via Twitter).
  • If the Kings are unable to land Rajon Rondo, the team could look to sign Brewer, Chris Mannix of relays (Twitter link). There is some measure of support to ink Brewer within Sacramento’s front office, Mannix adds. Two other teams have contacted Rondo, Mannix adds, though Sacramento still is the frontrunner.
  • The Clippers’ hope was that re-signing center DeAndre Jordan would aid the team in landing Pierce, notes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter). It’s unclear if the team promised Pierce that Jordan would return, prompting him to sign, or if the veteran decided to join L.A. regardless of whether or not the big man will be his teammate next season.
  • The Lakers have expressed interest in re-signing center Jordan Hill, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. Hill’s representatives also fielded several calls from other interested teams, Medina adds. Los Angeles declined its $9MM team option on Hill for 2015/16.
  • The Clippers had checked with Brewer’s representatives if the mini-mid level amount would be enough to sign him, and were told they had no shot at that amount, Ben Bolch of The Los Angeles Times tweets.
  • The Kings, Clippers, and the Knicks have all expressed interest in free agent forward Dahntay Jones, Kennedy tweets.
  • In addition to the Lakers, teams showing interest in free agent Ed Davis are the Knicks, Pistons, Trail Blazers, and Celtics, Medina relays (Twitter link).
  • Free agent Leandro Barbosa said that he and the Warriors have mutual interest, Diamond Leung of The Bay Area News Group tweets, translating a story from from Folha da Região in Barbosa’s native Brazil.

Western Notes: Davis, Prince, Matthews

The Lakers have contacted free agent Ed Davis, and would like for him to return to Los Angeles next season, Mark Medina of The Los Angeles Daily News writes. There will be some competition for Davis’ services, as four undisclosed teams have also expressed interest in the big man, Medina notes. Davis is seeking a two or three-year deal worth $7MM-$8MM, or a one-year arrangement worth $9MM-$10MM, the Daily News scribe adds. In 79 games for the Lakers last season, Davis notched averages of 8.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks in 23.3 minutes per contest.

Here’s more from the Western Conference:

  • The Clippers are not optimistic about the idea of Paul Pierce taking less money to come their way, Sam Amick of USA Today Sports tweets.
  • The Lakers have expressed interest in restricted free agents Jimmy Butler of the Bulls, and Iman Shumpert of the Cavaliers, Medina relays (Twitter link).
  • The Spurs were among the teams to contact unrestricted free agent Tayshaun Prince, Ramona Shelburne of tweets.
  • The Mavericks and Wesley Matthews are still engaged in contract talks, but remain approximately $3MM apart in annual value for the agreement, Amick tweets. Matthews is seeking an annual salary of $15MM per year, while Dallas is offering $12MM, Amick notes.
  • The Jazz contacted free agent Joe Ingles to express their interest in re-signing the forward, Jody Genessy of The Deseret News tweets. Utah tendered Ingles a qualifying offer worth $1.045MM on Monday, making him a restricted free agent. The 27-year-old appeared in 79 games for the Jazz in 2014/15, including 32 starts, and averaged 5.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 21.2 minutes per contest.
  • The Mavs have reached out to point guard Nick Calathes, who is a restricted free agent, Tim MacMahon of tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Raptors, Lakers, Mavs, Bucks Eye Iman Shumpert

1:03am: The Suns have liked Shumpert for a while and might get in the mix for him, too, Kennedy adds on Twitter.

12:05pm: The Raptors also have interest, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (on Twitter).

11:35am: The Lakers, Mavericks and Bucks are interested in Iman Shumpert, sources tell Chris Broussard of (Twitter link). The shooting guard will become a restricted free agent Wednesday after the Cavaliers tendered a qualifying offer to him on Monday. Six teams have already expressed interest in Shumpert and league executives believe he’ll command a deal that will pay him better than $8MM a year, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported, and as we passed along in our Offseason Outlook for the Cavs.

Cleveland GM David Griffin has expressed interest in keeping his team together, and LeBron James would reportedly like the team to re-sign Shumpert. Inking him to a new deal or matching an offer sheet from another team would add to the projected tax bill for the Cavs, who’ve already had internal discussions about a $100-110MM payroll, with tax payments perhaps exceeding $75MM, as Brian Windhorst of reported.

Free Agency Rumors: LeBron, Cavs, Leonard

A league source told Joe Vardon of the Northeast Ohio Media Group that the Cavs “do not value” pending free agent J.R. Smith.  LeBron James reportedly wants the Cavs to re-sign the guard, so one has to wonder if that could outweigh the team’s reservations about him.  Vardon adds that it is not known if the Cavs will immediately submit offers to James, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson when the clock moves past midnight. Here’s more as we get set for the start of free agency..

  • There’s a growing belief that Thompson’s postseason performance coupled with his ties to LeBron could earn him a max contract or something close to it, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon-Journal writes.  Lloyd also writes that the Cavs were aware that Iman Shumpert would be seeking a ~$10MM per year deal this summer when the acquired him.
  • Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is on track for five-year, ~$90MM max deal after San Antonio takes care of other free agency business, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News tweets.  It was previously believed that Leonard was in line for a lucrative four-year deal rather than five.
  • Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki will join the team’s recruiting contingent in Wednesday’s meetings with DeAndre Jordan and LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim MacMahon of tweets.
  • James Harden will join coach Kevin McHale, GM Daryl Morey and executive VP Gersson Rosas in the Rockets‘ meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge Tuesday night in Los Angeles, a source tells Chris Broussard of (on Twitter).
  • The Knicks‘ selection of Kristaps Porzingis may scare free agents away, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.  “They took a Latvian guy who may or may not be good,’’ an individual connected to a free agent said. “It’s very strange. They should’ve taken more of a tried-and-true guy, even a Justise Winslow. Top free agents are looking at winning now. It’s fun to go the playoffs and have a chance to compete for the Finals. They’re not going to win this year.’’

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