Regardless of whether Shumpert has specifically sought a move or not, the Cavaliers can afford to lose him after trading for Jae Crowder in the now-official Kyrie Irving deal. Shumpert, an acute perimeter defender, represents a need of the Pelicans franchise given their dearth of healthy wings.
Just what a deal between the two franchises would entail, however, is a different story. Considering that both Cleveland and the Pelicans are over the cap, the Cavs would need to take back salary equal to Shumpert’s $10.3MM deal and that’s where things get tricky.
Given Cleveland’s mandate to win now while maintaining a modicum of agility and flexibility should LeBron James leave next summer, it’s unlikely that the club would accept what the Pelicans could offer under the cap.
Neither the $25.9MM guaranteed to E’Twaun Moore through 2019/20 nor the prospect of adding Pelicans center Omer Asik to the frontcourt mix are presumed to inspire much enthusiasm in Koby Altman‘s front office, leaving us little choice but to speculate that the Pelicans will need to fill their perimeter holes elsewhere.
There’s more from the Southwest Division:
- Former Rockets big man Chuck Hayes will re-join the franchise as a scout, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle writes. Hayes, who played 11 years in the NBA, held a similar position with the Nuggets in 2016/17.
- The Pelicans were limited in what they could do to their roster this offseason, Shaun Powell of NBA.com. The team will have to hope that the superstar duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins is enough to lead them to the postseason.
- The Grizzlies added speed and playmaking in the form of Mario Chalmers, Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans, Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal writes. The franchise hopes that the additions can help help the club keep up with today’s NBA style.