Iman Shumpert

Cavaliers Notes: Smith, Korver, Tucker, Shumpert

It will be a long time before J.R. Smith is back in uniform for the Cavaliers, writes Joe Vardon of The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Smith, who broke his right thumb December 20th, has a doctor’s appointment today and hopes to be cleared to start cardio work. But basketball drills are a long way off as the thumb continues to heal. Smith was given a 12- to 14-week prognosis after suffering the injury, which would put him on track for a return in late March or early April, right before the playoffs begin. “I need to be able to do something to get my heart rate up before I can even think about playing again,” said Smith, who signed a four-year, $57MM deal before the season started. “It’s crazy cuz it’s still a long ways away. From when I start being able to work out, it’s still a long ways away from me being able to get on the court.”

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Smith gave his approval to the deal that brought Kyle Korver to the Cavs, Vardon writes in the same piece. Korver is averaging 8.4 points in five games since the trade and has given the team another outside shooter to make up for Smith’s absence. “He’s good,” Smith said. “Space the floor. Gives a great effort on the defensive end. And we really need the shooting.”
  • The Cavaliers are among the teams rumored to be interested in Suns’ forward P.J. Tucker, but Sam Amico of Amicohoops doesn’t see Tucker as a good fit in Cleveland. Phoenix is looking for young players and draft picks, which the Cavs don’t really have to offer, and he wouldn’t be guaranteed playing time with Cleveland’s current roster.
  • Iman Shumpert has scored in double figures in all three games since replacing DeAndre Liggins in the starting lineup last week, notes Chris Fedor of The Plain Dealer. Shumpert had a season-high 17 points in Thursday’s win over Phoenix. “He started off the season shooting the ball great and I thought in the second lineup trying to have him play the backup point asking him to do too much,” said coach Tyronn Lue. “Now he’s back in his comfort zone.”

Cavaliers Notes: Korver, Osman, Shumpert, Brown

The Cavaliers were interested in Kyle Korver long before last week’s trade was completed, according to Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. GM David Griffin had been asking the Hawks about Korver for the past 12 months, and former GM Chris Grant tried to sign him in 2013, offering more than the four-year, $24MM deal he accepted from the Hawks. The Cavaliers believed they needed to acquire a shooter as quickly as possible after J.R. Smith had surgery on a broken thumb and Mike Dunleavy Jr. was unable to fit into the offense. Korver, 35, is headed for free agency in the offseason and didn’t fit into Atlanta’s long-term plans.

There’s more this morning out of Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers refused to part with draft-and-stash prospect Cedi Osman in the trade, Pluto adds in the same piece. The 21-year-old wing plays for Anadolu Efes in Turkey and has developed into one of the best prospects in Europe. He wants to join the NBA next season and the Cavs told the Hawks he wasn’t available.
  • The addition of Korver allowed coach Tyronn Lue to insert Iman Shumpert into the starting lineup, writes Jason Lloyd of The Akron Beacon Journal. Shumpert is an improvement over DeAndre Liggins, but Lloyd says Lue was hesitant to start him because he feared the second unit would be too thin. Smith may ultimately reclaim the starting spot, but he isn’t expected back until April. The Cavs started installing plays for Korver at Friday’s walkthrough, and Lue likes the idea of teaming him with LeBron James when the reserves are in the game.
  • Former Cavaliers coach Mike Brown talks in depth about his two stints in Cleveland in an interview with Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News. Now the lead assistant in Golden State, Brown reportedly had trouble connecting with Kyrie Irving and was fired for a second time in 2014 when Irving was eligible for a contract extension.

Central Notes: Ellenson, KCP, Rondo, Shumpert

While the absence of Jon Leuer has hurt a Pistons team desperate to regain its footing in the East, it has opened an opportunity for first-round pick Henry Ellenson to play meaningful minutes for once. This week Ellenson checked into a game in the first half for the first time this season writes Pistons.com editor Keith Langlois.

It felt different, for sure,” the 20-year-old Pistons big man told Langlois of the matchup against the Kings. “It felt good to be out there, to be a part of the rotation. […] For me, personally, it was nice to get some of that action.”

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy reiterated how important it will be to have Ellenson available as the team returns to health in the coming days. Leuer is expected to be sidelined for at least two more games.

We need all hands on deck,” Van Gundy said, before clarifying that while the rookie may be relied upon more than he has been thus far, it’s unlikely he’ll see “great big minutes” for the Pistons.

Elsewhere in the Central Division:

  • The Pistons haven’t played up to a standard that Van Gundy is happy with, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News, but the head coach believes that his team is capable of it. “I thought the early part of the year — probably the second 10 games or so — we got to where we were playing at a high level and we haven’t been able to gain a rhythm since then,” Van Gundy said. “This last 20 games, I haven’t done a good enough job of getting us to play at the level we’re capable of playing at“.
  • The results of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope‘s Friday MRI are in and the shooting guard suffered a Grade 2 left rotator cuff strain. The team’s official press release states that he’ll be doubtful for the Pistons through the weekend, with his status continually reevaluated and updated.
  • Point guard Rajon Rondo called his punitive benching by Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg a “slap in the face,” writes Vincent Goodwill of CSN Chicago, but the veteran also says that the decision wasn’t unexpected.
  • The Cavaliers will insert Iman Shumpert into the starting lineup in place of DeAndre Liggins, says Sam Amico of NEO Sports Insiders. Liggins and Shumpert have shared time at the position since starter J.R. Smith broke his thumb.

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.

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