Iman Shumpert Rumors

Cavs Notes: LeBron, Shumpert, Blatt, Harris

April 3 at 11:35am CDT By Chuck Myron

LeBron James wouldn’t mind seeing the Heat in the first round of the playoffs, as he made clear before Thursday’s Cavs-Heat game, notes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. Cleveland is more or less locked into the second spot in the Eastern Conference, while the Heat are a half-game out of the seventh seed. It would be an odd coda to two of the most momentous free agency decisions in NBA history, the ones that bookended LeBron’s tenure with Miami. James can once more hit free agency again this summer, though unlike the last two times, it seems he’ll almost certainly stay put. Here’s more from Cleveland:

  • Knicks team president Phil Jackson said he’s disappointed with how it turned out with Iman Shumpert, also saying that the numerous injuries in the swingman’s past played a role in the decision to trade him to the Cavs, according to Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com (Twitter links). Shumpert is set for restricted free agency this summer.
  • David Blatt hadn’t held an NBA job of any kind when the Cavs hired him, and he came under pressure earlier this season, but he’s shown growth in his first year in charge of the team, as Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group examines. James as well as soon-to-be restricted free agent Tristan Thompson are among those who praise Blatt, as Haynes relays.
  • The Cavs have assigned Joe Harris to the D-League, the team announced. It’s the ninth assignment for the rookie, who has a guaranteed minimum salary next season, and all of his trips to the D-League have come since Cleveland’s pair of midseason trades netted Shumpert, J.R. Smith and Timofey Mozgov.

And-Ones: Cavs, Stephenson, Payne, Dekker

March 31 at 9:00pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

J.R. Smith, and not Iman Shumpert, was the player whom LeBron James most wanted the Cavs to obtain from the Knicks, according to Brian WIndhorst of ESPN.com (audio link), who spoke on the B.S. Report podcast with Grantland’s Bill Simmons, as RealGM transcribes. Of course, Cleveland traded for both in the January deal that sent out Dion Waiters.

He [James] is so excited about the talent on this team,” Windhorst said. “He loves playing with [Timofey] Mozgov. He loves Smith. He was the guy who pushed for that trade. The Cavs were trying to get Iman Shumpert; that’s what the conversations were and of course the Knicks were saying ‘We’ll give you Shumpert, but you have to take J.R.’ They went to LeBron and he said ‘No, you get J.R. and if you get Shumpert with him that’s great.’ He, I think, really loves their top seven.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Lance Stephenson says that despite his struggles during his first season in Charlotte, he doesn’t regret signing with the Hornets, Steve Reed of The Associated Press writes. “I love this system. I love my coaches. I love my teammates,” Stephenson said. “Some people come into systems and fit right in. Some people it takes time. I feel like with me I’m going to take time.” In 58 appearances this season Stephenson has averaged 8.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 26.4 minutes per night.
  • Murray State sophomore guard Cameron Payne is leaning toward entering this year’s draft, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports. Payne averaged 20.2 points and 5.7 assists while shooting 37.7% from three-point range this season. The 20-year-old is ranked No. 23 by Chad Ford of ESPN.com and No. 32 by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.
  • New No. 1 prospect Karl-Anthony Towns, Justise Winslow, Frank Kaminsky and Jerian Grant are among those who helped themselves during the second week of the NCAA Tournament, according to Ford, who writes in an Insider-only piece. Still, no prospect has boosted his stock more during the tournament than Sam Dekker, whom Ford believes has risen into the back end of the top 20 prospects.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Shumpert, Anthony

January 9 at 7:59pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

One reason that Knicks owner James Dolan hired Phil Jackson as team president was for his championship credentials, but Jackson’s winning pedigree hasn’t translated thus far in selling the players on the triangle offense, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. “When I played, the credibility Phil and his staff had came when he walked in the door,’’ coach Derek Fisher said. “We were all intrigued in wanting to figure it out, knowing they won championships doing this. We wanted to figure out how to win championships within this format. In recent years, Phil wasn’t coaching and there weren’t any teams running this system. So these current players can’t say this team won a championship last year or two years ago doing it.”

Here’s more out of NYC:

  • Iman Shumpert says that his new team, the Cavaliers, remind him of of the Knicks circa 2012/13, Berman writes in a separate piece. “It’s going to be different,’’ Shumpert said. “I think it will be like my second year when we had Jason Kidd, Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler. We had a lot of different guys who did a lot of different things.’’
  • Shumpert also relayed that he’s happy to be on a Cavs team that is likely to make the playoffs, something that the 5-34 Knicks have little chance at, Berman adds. “Of course everybody wants to win and be in the playoffs and compete more,” Shumpert said. “I didn’t want my season to end early. There’s work to do here, too. We definitely are going to get to work.’’
  • With the Knicks’ season all but over, Anthony has to believe that New York’s front office has a plan that will work, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. “When I first committed back to New York, that was something I always said: I had to trust that them guys know what they’re doing and believe in them guys. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to come back,” Anthony said. “Here’s an opportunity with the trust. Everything starts now.”

Knicks Rumors: ‘Melo, Shumpert, Smith

January 7 at 12:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

It’s likely that the Knicks will eventually decide to shut down Carmelo Anthony for the rest of the season so he can rest his sore left knee, a source tells Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. ‘Melo plans to return January 15th for New York’s game against the Bucks, but he acknowledged that if he’s still feeling pain once he starts playing again, he might undergo surgery, as Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. A long season is just getting longer for the 5-32 Knicks, who top our Reverse Standings with the league’s worst record. Here’s more from New York:

  • Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, traded Monday to the Cavs, were probably ‘Melo’s closest friends on the Knicks, Berman writes in the same piece. “When I first committed back to New York, it’s something I always said I have to trust they know what they’re doing,” Anthony said today. “That was one of the reasons I wanted to come back. So here’s an opportunity with the trust. Everything starts now.‘’
  • The Knicks worried that Smith’s poor work ethic and Samuel Dalembert‘s frequent tardiness to practices would be negative influences on the team’s younger players, sources tell Beck for the above-linked piece.
  • Team president Phil Jackson asked Knicks players at the end of last season to identify a reliable second-best player on the team after ‘Melo, and no consensus emerged, Beck also writes.
  • There’s a “slight chance” the Knicks will re-sign Lance Thomas to a 10-day contract should he clear waivers, Berman tweets. New York is set to waive Thomas, as well as Alex Kirk and Lou Amundson.
  • The D-League affiliate of the Knicks is unlikely to trade for the rights to Toure’ Murry, which belong to Houston’s D-League affiliate, a source tells Gino Pilato of D-League Digest (Twitter link). Murry is reportedly joining the D-League after having been waived by the Jazz this past weekend.

Cavs Notes: Mozgov, Waiters, Shumpert

January 6 at 7:20pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Cavs aren’t receiving a “flat no” when they ask the Nuggets about trading for Timofey Mozgov, as Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio hears. Cleveland picked up an asset for the future in the form of the Thunder’s protected 2015 first-round in Monday’s trade, and the Nuggets are reportedly drawing closer to the realization that they won’t make the playoffs this year.

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Dion Waiters was displeased with what he construed as favoritism from Cavs brass toward Kyrie Irving, Amico reports in the same piece.
  • Iman Shumpert is the player that will benefit the Cavaliers the most from last night’s trade, but his durability remains a question, Terry Pluto of The Northeast Ohio Media Group writes. Pluto also declares Cleveland the clear winner in this trade, considering that it netted Shumpert, J.R. Smith, and a first-rounder, while not giving up that much in return.
  • Despite their newly acquired personnel, the Cavs haven’t changed all that much, Tom Ziller of SB Nation writes. Shumpert’s reputation as a defender may be inflated, Smith’s volatility could become an issue, and the team did nothing to address its primary weakness–interior defense, Ziller opines.
  • Waiters didn’t fit with the Cavs’ new, more accomplished and urgent core, and the team dealt him to acquire depth, perimeter defense, and future flexibility, Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report writes. The third-year guard wasn’t ready at his age, and at this stage of his career, to make the sacrifices to his game that the team required of him, and his style of play didn’t mesh well with the role the Cavs had placed him in, Skolnick adds.
  • Entering Monday night’s game, the Cavaliers didn’t have the roster of a team that could contend for an NBA championship, and the Waiters trade didn’t do much to change that, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Until Cleveland acquires a rim protector, its fortunes aren’t likely to change despite the newly acquired players.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Knicks Notes: Jackson, Anthony, Murry

January 6 at 5:30pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Team president Phil Jackson demanded a five-year deal and a promise that owner James Dolan wouldn’t meddle before the Zen Master agreed to join the Knicks this past spring, and that’s looking like a wise bargain from Jackson’s end, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News believes. Jackson has the leeway necessary for the tear-down he’s undertaking, one that’s necessary for the Knicks to once again contend for titles, Deveney opines.

Here’s the latest out of NYC:

  • The removal of talent surrounding Carmelo Anthony makes it more likely that the Knicks will have Anthony miss the rest of the season so he can rehabilitate his sore knee, argues Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal.
  • While the return that the Knicks received for dealing away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert was underwhelming, Jackson made the deal because he and his staff feared that if the Cavaliers got hot as a team, they would potentially lose interest in acquiring those players, Marc Berman of The New York Post writes. Jackson was also afraid that if Smith’s injury lingered, then he would become untradeable, Berman also notes.
  • Jackson’s first season as team president will be remembered for all the cap room that he cleared, but his true test as an executive will be how he puts it to use this coming summer, Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post writes.
  • The Knicks’ trade of Smith and Shumpert signifies that the franchise is working toward the future once again, instead of angling for a playoff berth, Brian Mahoney of The Associated Press writes. This feels like a repeat of what transpired six years ago, when the Knicks traded Zach Randolph and Jamal Crawford to set themselves up for a shot at LeBron James in the summer of 2010, a plan that backfired, Mahoney adds.
  • Toure’ Murry is entering the D-League, and the Knicks affiliate is likely to claim him via the waiver process, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Murry, who was recently waived by the Jazz, appeared in 51 games for New York during the 2013/14 campaign, averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 assist in 7.3 minutes per contest.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Cavs, Knicks, Thunder Complete Three-Way Deal

January 5 at 9:56pm CDT By Zach Links

9:56pm: The Thunder, Cavs, and Knicks all announced the deal via press release.

Dion Waiters is a player that we’ve tracked and liked since his time at Syracuse, in the NBA, and with USA Basketball. Dion provides another proven scorer that positively impacts our roster and adds depth and flexibility,” said Presti in OKC’s release. “We have a lot of respect for his toughness and competitiveness, and believe that he is a physical playmaker who will enhance the versatility of our team. We are excited to welcome Dion to Oklahoma City and the Thunder organization.”

The Thunder’s draft pick being conveyed is protected 1-18 in 2015 and 1-15 in 2016 and 2017, respectively, according to the release from the Thunder.  Should the pick not convey during this period, Oklahoma City would send the Cavs its second round draft picks in 2018 and 2019.

The Knicks’ release also makes it official that Dalembert has been waived.

8:26pm: The Knicks will receive Thomas, Amundson, and Kirk in the deal but will only keep Thomas, according to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report (via Twitter).  The Knicks will also waive Dalembert.

The Cavs are sending their 2019 second-round pick to the Knicks, sources tell Brian Windhorst and Marc Stein of ESPN.com.  The duo hears that team officials spoke with LeBron James about his willingness to play alongside Smith before executing the deal.

Even though the deal weakens the Knicks in the short-term, Beck (link) hears that the Knicks are not giving up on the season.  The Knicks plan on making more moves between now and the February trade deadline.

At present, it appears that the deal will have Waiters going to the Thunder, Shumpert and Smith going to the Cavs, and Thomas, Amundson, and Kirk going to the Knicks.  In addition, the Cavs will receive a future first-round pick from the Thunder and the Knicks will get the Cavs’ 2019 second-round choice.

Waiters has been the subject of trade talks for some time and the Cavs were reportedly telling teams around the league that they’d be willing to part with him. Cleveland wanted Grizzlies big man Kosta Koufos, who would fit the bill as the “difference-making center” they were after, but they have found another deal in this proposed three-way swap.  Waiters, 23, has averaged 10.5 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 1.7 RPG – all career lows – through 33 games this season.  The former No. 4 overall pick was reportedly being shopped in August as well, but the Cavs couldn’t find a suitable deal.  Waiters might not be the most complete player in the NBA, but he is a scoring threat and should add lots of punch for OKC off of the bench.

The Knicks wanted to trade Smith more than anyone else, according to a December report from ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard.  In fact, the Knicks have been huddling up internally for some time to figure out how they could move the polarizing guard.  There hasn’t been much trade buzz surrounding Smith in recent weeks, but the Knicks were able to find a taker in tonight’s three-team blockbuster.  The 29-year-old New Jersey native is averaging 10.9 PPG, 3.4 APG, and 2.4 RPG this season.  The scoring output is his lowest since his sophomore season in 2005/06.  His PER rating of 11.7 – a career low – tells a more complete story of his struggles this season.  Thanks to his 15% trade kicker, Smith will collect on something of a belated Christmas bonus.

Shumpert, 24, has been a mainstay on Hoops Rumors and on the back pages of the New York tabloids for the last two seasons.  The Knicks might not have been intent on moving Shumpert, but by including him they were able to move both his salary and Smith’s without taking much back.  The combo guard is averaging 9.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 3.3 APG in 26 minutes per contest this season.  Shump is also headed towards restricted free agency this offseason and the Knicks, ostensibly, weren’t going to make a big play to retain him.

The Knicks didn’t add much in terms of assets, but they have greatly improved their financial situation by moving Smith’s substantial contract.  The guard is making nearly $6MM this season and he holds a player option worth nearly $6.4MM for 2015/16.  It’s possible that the shooting guard could turn down the option in order to seek a more lucrative multi-year deal, but that’s not a risk that Phil Jackson & Co. were willing to take.  Beyond the financial benefit of moving Smith’s deal, the Knicks are also moving a player who might not be a wonderful locker room presence.

7:41pm: It looks like Jackson will be staying with the Thunder, Charania tweets.  The Knicks will receive two trade exceptions – worth $6MM and $2.5MM – in the deal by trading Smith and Shumpert, as Marc Berman of the New York Post notes (on Twitter).

7:40pm: The Thunder will send a protected future first-round choice to the Cavs in the deal, Wojnarowski tweets.

7:35pm: Kirk will be headed from the Cavs to the Knicks as a part of the deal, according to Wojnarowski.

7:32pm: The Knicks will get three players in the deal and will waive all three, according to Amico (on Twitter).  Amico surmises that two of those three players will be Amundson and Kirk.

7:25pm: The Knicks will get a future second round pick in the deal, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post (via Twitter).

7:10pm: The Knicks are leaning towards waiving Dalembert outright rather than trading him, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

7:06pm: The Knicks won’t be getting any roster players in the deal, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post (on Twitter).  The deal appears to be a cap clearing move for New York.

7:05pm: It turns out Jackson will not be headed to the Knicks and it’s unclear if he’s going anywhere at all, Wojnarowski tweets.

6:46pm: The basic framework of the deal has Waiters going to the Thunder, Smith to the Cavs, and Jackson to the Knicks, sources tell Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com (on Twitter).  The Knicks are sending Iman Shumpert to Cleveland in the deal as well, according to Wojnarowski (on Twitter).  The Thunder will send Lance Thomas to the Knicks as a part of the deal, according to Shams Charania of RealGM (on Twitter).

6:42pm: The deal will also involve Knicks center Samuel Dalembert, a source tells Sam Amico of FOX Sports Ohio (on Twitter).

The Knicks will send J.R. Smith to the Cavs in the swap, according to Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

6:36pm: The Thunder are a possible destination for Waiters, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  Reggie Jackson could be part of the swap, which now appears to be a three-way deal (link).

Wojnarowski adds (link) that there’s a “trade call” scheduled for later tonight, so the deal could be consummated rather quickly.

6:32pm: The Cavaliers have pulled Dion Waiters out of tonight’s game as they have reached a deal to trade him, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (on Twitter).  It’s not yet known where he’s headed, however.

The Cavs acknowledged that Waiters, Alex Kirk, and Louis Amundson are all being discussed in a trade, resulting in them being pulled from tonight’s game, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Stevens, Knicks

December 21 2014 at 5:58pm CDT By Zach Links

We saw one notable point guard traded out of the Atlantic Division last week – could we see another shipped out soon?  The Nets and Kings have reportedly had trade talks about Deron Williams with Darren Collison, Derrick Williams, and Jason Thompson mentioned as names from Sacramento’s side.  However, a deal doesn’t sound imminent and the Nets do not want to part with Mason Plumlee in a deal, which could be a stumbling block.  More from the Atlantic Division, where the Raptors hold a comfortable lead..

  • Even though the Celtics are in a transitional period, coach Brad Stevens tells Paul Flannery of SB Nation that he’s not interested in jumping ship for the University of Indiana.  “I’ve committed to being here,” Stevens said. “I’ve already left a situation once and that was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to choose to do. This is something that as long as they want me to be here, this is what I want to be doing and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. I know it’s all specific to the rumor mills and the discussion of one spot. I think they’ve got a good coach who’s done a helluva job. He doesn’t deserve that speculation…I’m the head coach of the Boston Celtics. This is the job. This is where I am. This is what I want to do really well and I’m committed to being as good as I can every single day for the Celtics.”
  • Phil Jackson is responsible for nine of the 15 players on the Knicks roster, meaning that he is largely responsible for the team’s shortcomings, opines Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News.  Knicks fans seem to be sold on Jackson but Lupica argues that if no one else in New York City gets a pass, neither should he.
  • Knicks guard Iman Shumpert won’t require surgery after suffering a painful shoulder injury, writes Peter Botte of the New York Daily News.  The Knicks staff will reevaluate Shump in two weeks to see how his dislocated left shoudler is doing.

Eastern Notes: Bucks, Heat, Knicks

November 15 2014 at 8:48pm CDT By Chris Crouse

After finishing last season with the worst record in the NBA, the Bucks are benefiting from a change in culture, writes Mary Stevens of Basketball Insiders. New coach Jason Kidd has received praise from many players, including center Larry Sanders. “He’s a great coach. As good as a player he was, I think he’s a better coach,” Sanders said. “He really knows how to run a team. He’s putting all of us in a position to be successful.”  Sanders, who last year signed an extension to remain in Milwaukee through the 2017/18 season, has helped the Bucks rank third in scoring defense (93.6 points per game allowed) through nine games.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat’s new additions have yet to gel and the lack of defensive cohesion is upsetting the team, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “This defensive system is built on trust, and we’re not there yet,” center Chris Bosh said. “I think that’s obvious. But guys have to take their positions, guys have to know their rotations. They have to know exactly what they’re doing when the ball goes to a certain place.” Despite their decline, the Heat are only giving up 97.8 PPG, which is the 12th-best mark in the league.
  • Knicks coach Derek Fisher believes the team’s current hardship will help the club down the road, writes Barbara Barker of Newsday.com“Oftentimes it takes humbling experiences and adversity to soften the environment enough for guys to really grow. I think we have a lot of that going on in our group right now and it’ll pay off in the long run. Right now, we’re not getting the wins that we would like, but it’s gonna pay off,” said Fisher. The Knicks have started the season with a 2-8 record.
  • Even though the Knicks are struggling, finger-pointing within the locker room is no longer an issue, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. Guard Iman Shumpert believes the team’s chemistry is better this season. “I know it was a problem last year. This year, [there’s] a confidence in the system and confidence in one another,” Shumpert said. “I think everybody trusted [each other] once we came to training camp; we could see that everybody worked their [butts] off this summer.”

Knicks Notes: Hardaway Jr., Kerr, Shumpert

November 15 2014 at 3:16pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

The Knicks may be hampering the development of one of their brightest young assets by not giving Tim Hardaway Jr. enough minutes, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv opines. Hardway has thrived when playing over 20 minutes per game, and with the team struggling it would make sense to see what Hardaway can do in a larger role, adds Zagoria.

Here’s more out of New York:

  • Steve Kerr came as close to being the head coach of the Knicks as one can without actually signing a contract, Tim Bontemps of The New York Post writes. But Kerr hasn’t wondered what might have been, notes Bontemps, and the Warriors head man said, “I’ve been so busy, and I’m so happy here [in Golden State] that I don’t give it much thought. At the time, I knew my heart was here, in Golden State and in California.” With New York off to a 2-8 start to the year and Golden State sitting at 6-2, it would appear that Kerr made a wise decision.
  • The man who took the job that Kerr left on the table, Derek Fisher, is trying to distance himself as much as possible from the issues the team had with former coach Mike Woodson, writes Ian Begley of ESPNNewYork.com. “I think in the past, there have been issues with more finger-pointing out as opposed to finger-pointing in,” Fisher said. “We are now having a locker room of guys that are pointing to themselves about how they can help us get better.”
  • Shooting guard Iman Shumpert has seemingly turned a corner offensively this season, averaging a career-high 12.4 points on 50.5 percent shooting through the first 10 games, Chris Herring of The Wall Street Journal writes. But this new focus on offense is also taking away from Shumpert’s true value as a defensive stopper thanks to foul troubles that are plaguing him thus far, Herring adds. “His fouls are impacting us more than we would like, because we’re having to finish games with Shumpert on the bench,” Fisher said. “We have to find a way to work together to see if we can break that habit.” Shumpert has fouled out of two games already this season after having done so only three times in his first three seasons combined.