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Iman Shumpert

New York Notes: Nets, Knicks, Noah, Kilpatrick

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said today that he won’t surrender control of the franchise, and will remain the team’s majority owner, but will seek out a local minority ownership partner to “strengthen” the team’s presence in New York, per Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com.

According to Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick (via Twitter), the Nets have hired Steve Greenberg of Allen & Co. to help find a local investor to buy a minority stake in the franchise. Net Income of NetsDaily adds (via Twitter) that Prokhorov is only interested in selling a piece of the Nets — he won’t also sell a portion of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, the parent company that owns the Barclays Center.

Here are several more Nets- and Knicks-related notes from out of New York:

  • The Knicks – and head coach Jeff Hornacek – finally trusted Joakim Noah in a key situation on Monday, and it backfired on them, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Meanwhile, Fred Kerber of The New York Post examines the Noah situation and wonders whether it’s a blip on the radar or the start of a $72MM disaster.
  • In an interview with Karizza Sanchez of Complex.com, Iman Shumpert was asked about Phil Jackson‘s “posse” comment regarding LeBron James, and replied that the Knicks president has “always got a comment.” More from Shumpert, who grew up rooting for the Bulls and was traded away from the Knicks by Jackson: “You traded me away from New York, cool. It’s all business, it’s all love, whatever. But I’m a grownup now. You not my hero no more. The Bulls era is gone, Mike is gone, Pippen is gone, you ain’t coaching the Bulls no more. So, I don’t care what you got to say about ’Bron.”
  • Sean Kilpatrick has appeared in 52 NBA games, including 40 with the Nets, but none were better than Tuesday’s win over the Clippers, in which he scored 38 points grabbed 14 rebounds, both career highs. After the win, Kilpatrick spoke to Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders about how Nets GM Sean Marks changed his life.
  • Can 2016 first-rounder Caris LeVert become a foundational piece for the Nets? Reed Wallach of NetsDaily takes a closer look.

Cavaliers Rumors: Shumpert, Point Guards, Jack

A report last Friday suggested that the Timberwolves and some other teams have inquired about the availability of Iman Shumpert, and weren’t exactly rebuffed by the Cavaliers. Although it’s true that Cleveland is answering the phone, the team isn’t actively looking to move Shumpert, a team source tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Vardon adds that Shumpert would only be dealt for a player who improves the Cavs.

While it may simply be a matter of semantics, at least one NBA general manager was surprised to read that the Cavs aren’t “actively” shopping Shumpert, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net, who says a GM texted him about the report. “Guess I’m not sure what actively means,” the GM said. “That’s news to me and probably about six other (team executives).”

While the Cavs mull their options with Shumpert, let’s check out a few more items out of Cleveland…

  • Cleveland is believed to be in the market for a backup point guard, and veteran free agent Jarrett Jack looks like a decent fit, but the club only has a “passing interest” in Jack, a league source tells Amico.
  • Within his previously-linked mailbag, Vardon is asked about free agent point guards Jameer Nelson and Andre Miller as possible targets for the Cavaliers. Per Vardon, there are no indications that either Nelson or Miller is receiving interest from the team. The Cleveland.com scribe suggests Rockets guard Patrick Beverley is a possible trade target worth keeping an eye on, but adds that the Cavs will play Shumpert and DeAndre Liggins behind Kyrie Irving for now.
  • Having played for Canada this summer in a bid to earn a spot in the Olympics, Cavs big man Tristan Thompson was disappointed that several of his fellow countrymen weren’t on the roster, and hopes they’ll join the team for future competitions. Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal has the quotes from Thompson, along with the details on how the experience helped him.

Wolves, Others Have Inquired On Iman Shumpert

Several teams, including the Timberwolves, have inquired on the availability of Iman Shumpert in recent weeks, ESPN’s Zach Lowe writes in his latest piece previewing the upcoming NBA season. Those teams have gotten the impression that the Cavaliers are willing to discuss Shumpert, though they won’t simply dump his salary for nothing, says Lowe.

There are a few reasons why it could make sense for the Cavs to consider moving Shumpert. For one, after re-signing J.R. Smith, the Cavs are fairly deep on the wing, with Smith, Shumpert, Mike Dunleavy, Richard Jefferson, and James Jones among the players who could see regular minutes at the two or three. That list doesn’t even include LeBron James, who figures to occasionally play some small forward, or Jordan McRae, who has led the team in preseason scoring.

Additionally, the Cavs are well into tax territory now, so removing Shumpert’s $9,662,922 salary from their books would reduce their eventual tax bill significantly. The ex-Knick’s deal runs through at least 2018, with a player option for 2018/19, so moving it off the books could create a little more future flexibility as well.

The Cavaliers have reportedly been on the hunt for a backup point guard via trade, and while McRae and Mo Williams were among the players mentioned as trade candidates in that report, Shumpert’s salary is significantly larger. Trading him would allow Cleveland to take on more salary in return, increasing their number of options.

The Timberwolves also represent an interesting potential trade partner for the Cavs, since both Ricky Rubio and Tyus Jones have been the subject of trade rumors this offseason. The Wolves like both players, but fifth overall pick Kris Dunn is viewed as the point guard of the future in Minnesota. It’s also worth noting that the Wolves are well below the salary cap, and could easily accommodate Shumpert’s salary.

[RELATED: Several teams interested in Tyus Jones]

Still, this is mostly speculation. While it’s possible the Cavs decide to move Shumpert, it would be a little surprising to see the team shake up its rotation significantly this close to the start of the regular season. As Lowe notes, Cleveland would have to get real value in return, rather than just dumping Shumpert’s contract.

Central Notes: Smith, Johnson, Shumpert

The start of the regular season is less than two weeks away and J.R. Smith is still a free agent. The shooting guard and the Cavs remain at an impasse over salary and according to a report from ESPN’s Marc Stein earlier today, “it’s only a matter of time” before the free agent guard starts to engage more seriously with other teams. Despite all that, coach Tyronn Lue remains confident that Smith will be a member of the team this season, Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com relays. “We pretty much know what direction we have to go in if J.R. isn’t here, but I feel confident that J.R. will be here. We’ll just see how it works out,” Lue told the scribe.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • In the wake of Thursday night’s preseason loss to the Raptors, Lue said the Cavaliers are still attempting to determine who will receive point guard minutes behind Kyrie Irving to start the season. “We may have to do it by committee,” Lue said, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net. “Different nights may call for different players.”
  • In the event that the Pistons don’t shed one of their guaranteed contracts when paring down their roster to 15 players, there’s a chance that Stanley Johnson could be called upon to act as playmaker from the shooting guard spot in a pinch, Aaron McMann of MLive.com opines in response to a reader question.
  • The Cavs could conceivably look to trade Iman Shumpert in an effort to lower its luxury tax hit for signing Smith, but that scenario is highly unlikely, opines Joe Vardon of The Northeast Ohio Media Group in response to a reader question. Despite having one of his worst statistical seasons a pro last year, Shumpert remains in the team’s plans, Vardon adds. The scribe also notes that Shumpert’s trade value isn’t particularly high right now and the franchise is hoping he’ll demonstrate the production that led to them acquiring him from the Knicks.
  • Don’t forget to check out our Offseason in Review posts for the Bucks, Bulls, Pistons and Pacers.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Cavaliers Notes: Roster Spots, McRae, Shumpert

A four-man race has developed for the final two spots on the Cavaliers’ roster, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. With four preseason games remaining, the competition has boiled down to shooting guards Jordan McRae and DeAndre Liggins, small forward Dahntay Jones and point guard Toney Douglas. Coach Tyronn Lue has promised that those four, plus everyone with non-guaranteed deals, will get a chance to prove themselves before cuts have to be made. Rookie point guard Kay Felder and veteran swingman James Jones are believed to be sure things for the final roster, and another spot will likely belong to J.R. Smith, who has been in a contract standoff with the Cavs all summer. Vardon believes McRae and Liggins are the current favorites to earn the last two positions.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • McRae is no longer being considered as a possible backup to point guard Kyrie Irving, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com“It’s not fair to him,” Lue said. “It’s something he hasn’t done his whole career. You can put guys in position, they’ve got to come out and just score the basketball. But to tell them they’ve got to get into their sets, little guards picking up full court and just having to think so much when you’re a natural scorer, it is kind of tough.” Lue is looking at a committee approach, with Liggins, Felder and Douglas all logging time as reserve point guards. McRae has been the Cavs’ leading scorer in the past two games with 20 points each night.
  • With Smith still absent, Iman Shumpert has been impressive in training camp, Fedor writes in the same piece. The fifth-year shooting guard has started just six games since coming to Cleveland in January of 2015, but he took over the starter’s role in camp and seems likely to begin the season in that position. Shumpert is trying to bounce back from a disastrous season in which he shot a career-low 37% from the field and 30% from 3-point range. “J.R. here or J.R. not here, Shump still has the same role on our team,” Lue said, “and that’s to come out and be a stopper every single night and take and make his open shots.”

Cavaliers Address Shumpert’s Arrest

1:57pm: Because Shumpert’s alleged offense involved marijuana, he will not be suspended regardless of the outcome of the case, Lloyd writes in a full story. If he is convicted or pleads guilty, Shumpert will go into the NBA’s marijuana program. If this is his first violation, there will be no more punishment. Players are fined $25K for a second offense and suspended five games for a third offense.

11:39am: Shumpert’s arrest involved marijuana, not alcohol, tweets Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. According to the arrest report, Shumpert admitted to an officer that he smoked the substance and was charged with possession of less than one ounce.

10:03am: The Cavaliers issued a statement this morning related to Iman Shumpert‘s August 10th DUI arrest near Atlanta, tweets Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com. The 26-year-old was pulled over for a lane violation by Fayette County Police and subsequently charged with DUI.

The team statement says the Cavaliers have discussed the incident with Shumpert and will monitor the case. No court date has been set, and neither the team or Shumpert plans to comment until the issue is resolved.

Convictions or guilty pleas in DUI cases typically result in league suspensions, notes Brian Windhorst in a post on ESPN Now. Ty Lawson, who recently signed with the Kings, was suspended for five games last season after two DUI incidents.

Central Notes: James, Wiggins, McMillan, Pistons

LeBron James is falling in the NBA Finals with the Cavaliers team that he built, writes Dave Hyde of The Sun-Sentinel. It was James’ decision to leave Miami for Cleveland two years ago because he saw a franchise with younger talent, Hyde notes, and he pushed for the deal that sent Andrew Wiggins to Minnesota for Kevin Love. James also approved the trade with New York that brought J.R. Smith and supported the hiring of Tyronn Lue, who had no previous experience as a head coach. Cavs managment has given James everything he wanted since his return, Hyde writes, saying it shows the danger of letting a player make too many personnel decisions.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • James’ desire to have Love as a teammate instead of Wiggins shaped the Cavaliers‘ destiny, contends Shaun Powell of NBA.com. Wiggins’ defensive prowess would have been much more valuable against the Warriors, Powell argues, noting that he is also capable of creating offense with his dribble, in contrast to Love, who has settled into a role as a 3-point shooter since he arrived in Cleveland. Wiggins also could have eased the Cavaliers’ financial burden with a rookie contract instead of the maximum deal that Love got last summer.
  • The Cavs’ bench has been letting them down in the finals, points out Marc Berman of The New York Post. Channing Frye, who was acquired in a February deal with the Magic, only has two points in the series. Iman Shumpert has been held to 11. Love came off the bench to score 11 in Game 4, but the rest of the reserves combined for just four points. Berman says depth will need to be the focus of Cleveland’s offseason moves.
  • New Pacers coach Nate McMillan will keep Dan Burke and Popeye Jones as part of his staff, tweets Scott Agness of Vigilant Sports. Agness says McMillan seems to have decided on a third assistant, but no announcement has been made.
  • The Pistons may concentrate on power forwards with the 18th pick in the draft, writes David Mayo of MLive. Detroit traded that pick to Houston for Donatas Motiejunas in a February deal that was later rescinded, so it’s clear that Pistons management recognizes the need for help at the four spot. Mayo lists Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis, Gonzaga’s Domantas Sabonis, Marquette’s Henry Ellenson and Kansas’ Perry Ellis as four possibilities.

Eastern Rumors: Bulls, Celtics, Pistons, Sixers

Bulls GM Gar Forman wouldn’t rule out the idea of trading Jimmy Butler when asked Wednesday night, notes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). Both Forman and Executive VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson made it clear no one on the roster is truly off-limits for a trade, Johnson writes, and changes are coming to coach Fred Hoiberg‘s coaching staff, sources tell Johnson. Still, Hoiberg will be sticking around, Paxson confirmed, according to Johnson, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement backing Forman and Paxson. Paxson confirmed the Bulls would like to re-sign Joakim Noah, Johnson also notes.

See more from Chicago amid news from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Celtics refused to give up Jae Crowder in trade talks with the Bulls before the deadline, scuttling any realistic possibility of a trade, league sources tell Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago. Jimmy Butler‘s name reportedly was the center of those discussions, though Goodwill hears they spoke with teams about Derrick Rose and confirms earlier reports that they had Pau Gasol trade talks, too.
  • The Bulls were on board with a trade that would have involved Pau Gasol, Tony Snell and Kirk Hinrich going out and Kosta Koufos and Ben McLemore coming in from the Kings, but Sacramento withdrew from those talks when the Sixers, who were to be included as a third team, insisted the Kings relinquish a second-round pick, Goodwill hears. Sacramento was also reluctant to give into the Bulls’ desire to reduce the top-10 protection on the 2016 first-rounder the Kings owe them, according to Goodwill.
  • The Cavaliers made it a priority to sign a perimeter defender like Dahntay Jones as insurance for Iman Shumpert instead of a point guard to offset the injury to Mo Williams because they envision LeBron James running the point in a pinch, accoriding to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. The Cavs inked Jones earlier today as Williams reportedly headed to New York for further examination on his sore left knee.
  • Coach Brett Brown said the replacement of GM Sam Hinkie with new president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo won’t result in a change to the team’s playing style, and he called for the front office to focus on strong defenders and veteran big men as they seek offseason upgrades, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Brown also spoke highly of Elton Brand, Pompey notes. Brand is heading back into free agency and isn’t sure he’ll keep playing.

Eastern Notes: Colangelo, Harris, Johnson, Hawks

Bryan Colangelo, who was introduced today as the Sixers‘ new president of basketball operations, defended the controversial “process” championed by his predecessor, Sam Hinkie, writes Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer“I do think it has been a success, because we’re at a jumping-off point now,” Colangelo said. “The organization is poised to take a major leap forward because of what has transpired over these last few years of what I’m going to call a measured rebuilding process.” Brookover isn’t a fan of Philadelphia’s complimentary players, but says the franchise has three valuable pieces in Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid, along with three or possibly four first-rounders in this year’s draft. He believes Hinkie was a poor communicator and claims the Sixers are in better hands now that Colangelo is in charge.

There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Sixers are eager to move past the avalanche of losing that has marked the past three seasons, according to Brian Seltzer of NBA.com. Philadelphia has sunk to a league-worst 10-70 this season after going 18-64 last year and 19-63 in 2013/14, all while Hinkie tried to stockpile draft picks and young players. “It’s been a tough three years,” co-managing owner Joshua Harris said at a press conference this afternoon. “I think we’ve been very honest with the city and the fans.  I think the fans have been very patient with us.  It’s not easy to build a winner.  It’s not easy to build an elite team.  Now it’s time to move to the next phase.”
  • Joe Johnson would have been a valuable addition to a Cavaliers team that is weak at the backup wing position, contends Jeff Kasler of AmicoHoops. Cleveland was considered an early favorite to land Johnson as he was negotiating his buyout with the Nets, but Johnson opted for Miami because he prefers the Heat’s up-tempo offense. Kasler says Johnson would have given the Cavs quality minutes that Richard Jefferson and Iman Shumpert aren’t providing and would have allowed more rest time for LeBron James in the postseason.
  • New Hawks principal owner Tony Ressler is planning a major upgrade to Phillips Arena, according to Chris Vivlamore of The Journal Constitution. Ressler, who bought the team nine months ago, claims Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told him the city could finance about half of a planned $200MM to $300MM project. The work is projected to begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed in 2018.

Cavs Notes: Shumpert, Johnson, Lue

The Cavaliers privately deny that they were making Iman Shumpert available in trade talk before the deadline last month, but some in the organization think he might be doing too much to justify the four-year, $40MM contract he signed last summer, reports Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. The fifth-year swingman is averaging career lows in points and field goal percentage since returning in December from a preseason wrist injury, and he often turns the ball over when he tries to drive to the hoop, Lloyd writes.

“His biggest thing for us is defending the best player every single night,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “His shot is going to come and go. Some games, he’s going to get six or seven shots, some games he gets two shots. I’m not really worried about his shots and his scoring. He just has to step up and shoot them with confidence. But for the most part, for Shump and for us, his value is every single night guarding the best player, which he’s done a great job of.”

See more on the Eastern Conference leaders:

  • Some Cavs players were convinced that Joe Johnson would sign with the team and were already talking about the sort of lineup they could play with him on the roster, Lloyd writes in a separate piece. Johnson instead signed with the Heat after earlier reports that he envisioned joining the Cavs.
  • Tremendous weight is on Lue’s shoulders as he navigates his first NBA head coaching job and deals with immediate expectations of a title, but he’s keeping perspective, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com examines. “I want to win and I know I’m supposed to win, but I think the biggest thing for me is I have to do the best job I can do, but then also enjoy it,” Lue said. “I just can’t put the pressure on of winning a championship, winning a championship, because then I’d never be able to sleep.”
  • The “word is” the Cavs signed Sasha Kaun last summer to give since-deposed coach David Blatt an ally in the locker room, according to Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Haynes reported last week that Cavs players were angry that the team decided against re-signing Kendrick Perkins to instead do the deal with Kaun. Perkins played the role of enforcer for Cleveland last season, and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving say having someone to fill that gritty capacity is vital, Haynes notes. Still, it’s “laughable” to suggest that Cavs players don’t think they have enough to win the championship as is, McMenamin opines.

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