Iman Shumpert

Kyler’s Latest: Jordan, Kings, Mirotic, Whiteside

The streaky Clippers, who lost nine straight games back in November, have now won a season-high six consecutive contests, re-inserting themselves in the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Even though DeAndre Jordan has been sidelined with an ankle injury for the Clips’ last three wins, the streak seems to bode well for his chances of sticking in Los Angeles through the trade deadline.

As Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders writes, Clippers ownership and management doesn’t seem at all eager to blow up the roster. For now, the club is focused on seeing if it’s capable of competing in the West, preferring to wait until a bit closer to the deadline to evaluate all of its options.

If the Clippers do change course by February 8, the Bucks and Rockets figure to be among the teams with interest in Jordan, whose contract situation is worth monitoring. According to Kyler, there’s a belief that the veteran center won’t be able to top his $24.12MM player option as a free agent, meaning it’s possible he could decide to opt in for 2018/19. That possibility may affect how the Clippers and potential trade partners view Jordan at the deadline.

Here’s more from Kyler:

  • The Kings‘ veteran players are all potential trade candidates at the deadline, though some are more likely to be moved than others. George Hill, for example, won’t have much value, given his contract situation, his injury history, and his underwhelming play this season. Sources close to the situation tell Kyler that Sacramento seems to be trying to help its veterans find better situations as those players fall out of the team’s regular rotation.
  • Kyler hears that Nikola Mirotic‘s camp is pushing for the Bulls to pick up the forward’s $12.5MM team option for 2018/19. Until that team option is exercised, Mirotic has the ability to block a trade, giving him some leverage if Chicago wants to complete a deal. League sources tell Kyler that the Bulls have “gotten pretty far down the road” in talks with the Jazz and Pistons about Mirotic.
  • There’s “growing talk” around the NBA that the Heat would be open to the idea of moving Hassan Whiteside for the right mix of contracts and young players, Kyler writes. The Bucks and Cavaliers, both on the lookout for a center, would be obvious suitors, but it would tough for either team to make a deal, given Whiteside’s large cap hit ($23.78MM). John Henson, Mirza Teletovic, Tristan Thompson, and Iman Shumpert are among the players whose contracts might have to be included for Milwaukee or Cleveland to make a deal work, which doesn’t sound overly appealing for Miami.
  • The Mavericks are “dangling” some expiring contracts and appear to be seeking a promising prospect on a rookie scale deal, along with future picks, says Kyler. Dallas also has cap flexibility to take on a contract or two.

Cavs Notes: Rose, Shumpert, Thomas, Thompson

Neither Derrick Rose nor Iman Shumpert has appeared in a game for the Cavaliers since November, and it sounds like both players will remain sidelined for at least a little longer.

While there was an expectation that Rose may return to action for the Cavaliers during their current road trip, that won’t happen after all, head coach Tyronn Lue said today. As Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes, it sounds like Shumpert’s return isn’t imminent either.

“We thought he was (closer),” Lue said of Shumpert, who is recovering from a knee injury. “He had some soreness in his foot or whatever.”

As the club waits for its injured players to get healthy, here are a few more notes out of Cleveland:

Central Notes: LaVine, Rose, Shumpert, R. Jackson

When they stumbled their way to a 3-20 start, no team seemed less likely to have a seven-game winning streak than the Bulls. But that’s what happened, and their improbable play since December 8 has given them the league’s best record during that span at 10-2. With Zach LaVine due back soon, the only thing that could dampen spirits in Chicago is a rumored trade involving Nikola Mirotic or Robin Lopez, writes K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

Trade rumors began when the Bulls appeared headed for a high lottery pick and Mirotic was sidelined by facial fractures from a preseason fight with teammate Bobby Portis. Those two have resolved their differences enough to co-exist on the court, and Chicago has pulled to within five games of a playoff spot.

“We’re playing so well you don’t want to interfere with that,” LaVine said about the possibility of a deal. “But that’s not a decision for me or anybody on the team. We go out there to play and win and prove ourselves and impress. That’s what we’re going to do.”

There’s more tonight from the Central Division:

  • Today marked the first of six straight contact practices scheduled for LaVine as he works his way back from ACL surgery, Johnson adds in the same story. LaVine, who was averaging 18.9 points per game for the Timberwolves before the injury last season, said he feels “close” to returning. “I’ve actually picked things up pretty quickly,” he said of the Bulls’ offense. “The main thing is just doing a lot of conditioning. I like being one of the best in-shape dudes out there. I’m getting that down. The touch and feel comes back the more you play.”
  • There’s also positive health news regarding the Cavaliers, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. In addition to the imminent debut of Isaiah Thomas, Cleveland expects to have Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert back soon. Rose has been sidelined since December 7 with bone spurs and a sprained ankle, while Shumpert hasn’t played since having meniscus surgery December 1. “D Rose looked good the other day,” said coach Tyronn Lue. “First time I seen him run without a limp. He was going through some stuff. He was doing three-man weave with a lot of pace and speed. … You know Shump, he’s always healing faster than he’s supposed to, so he’s coming along well also.”
  • Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson can’t start his rehab process until the swelling goes down in his injured right foot, tweets Rod Beard of The Detroit News. That’s expected to happen in about two weeks.

Kyler’s Latest: Jordan, Gasol, Bazemore, Hornets

The NBA trade deadline is just over seven weeks away, so it’s only a matter of time before teams start discussing potential deals a little more earnestly. In anticipation of trade talks heating up, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders takes a closer look at a handful of players whose names figure to come up frequently in trade rumors in the coming weeks, passing along the latest nuggets of info on each of those guys. Here are a few highlights from Kyler’s piece:

  • Source close to the situation tell Kyler that a Cavaliers offer for DeAndre Jordan would be built around Tristan Thompson, Iman Shumpert, and a first-round pick, though Cleveland is only willing to discuss its own pick at this point, rather than the Nets’ first-rounder. It remains to be seen whether the Clippers will be willing to move Jordan, but the big man’s future in L.A. is “anything but clear,” writes Kyler.
  • More and more people around the NBA believe that the Grizzlies would be willing to explore the market for Marc Gasol, but it may require Gasol telling them he wants out, per Kyler.
  • League sources tell Kyler that the Hawks might be open to moving Kent Bazemore for the right combination of expiring contracts and a first-round pick. Even if that pick is “highly protected,” as Kyler suggests, I’d be very surprised if any team is willing to pay that price for Bazemore, who is owed $18MM+ in 2018/19 and $19MM+ in 2019/20.
  • The prevailing belief around the league is that the Hornets would like to move one of their big contracts, such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist‘s. However, Charlotte would likely need to attach a young player to a deal in order to dump salary. Kyler suggests Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon likely aren’t going anywhere, identifying Frank Kaminsky as a possible name to watch.
  • The Magic and Kings are also worth keeping an eye on, according to Kyler, who identifies Nikola Vucevic and George Hill as a pair of potential trade candidates. Orlando isn’t looking to shake things up for the sake of it, but Vucevic figures to draw interest. As for Hill, his significant cap hit limits his trade value, but he’d probably “welcome a move,” says Kyler.

Iman Shumpert Undergoes Knee Surgery, Expected To Miss Two Months

1:59pm: Shumpert underwent surgery today to repair a small meniscus tear in his left knee, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. According to Charania, Shumpert is expected to be out for two months.

8:44am: Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, as he’s set to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Friday, the team announced in a press release. The Cavs have not yet provided a recovery timetable for Shumpert, but league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that the veteran could miss the next six to eight weeks.

Shumpert, 27, has been nagged by left knee issues so far this season, putting up numbers across the board that are among his career-worsts. That includes just 4.8 PPG, , a .386 FG%, and a .280 3PT% in 13 games (six starts).

The subject of trade rumors frequently throughout 2017, Shumpert is earning a $10.34MM salary this season, with a player option worth $11MM+ for 2018/19. Even when he was healthy, the former first-round pick wasn’t generating a ton of interest on the trade market, so his knee injury will further reduce the odds of Cleveland finding a suitable deal before February’s trade deadline. If Shumpert were to miss the next eight weeks, that would put him on track to return less than two weeks before this season’s deadline, which wouldn’t give him much time to rebuild his value.

With Shumpert on the shelf, J.R. Smith, Dwyane Wade, Kyle Korver, and Jae Crowder figure to continue carrying the load on the wing for the Cavs, with Cedi Osman perhaps seeing a few more opportunities too.

Central Notes: Cavs, Bradley, LaVine

The Cavaliers are essentially playing without a true point guard, as both Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose are out with injuries and Jose Calderon has been relegated to the bench, averaging only 6.7 MPG. Lately the Cavs have been using Iman Shumpert as their starting point guard, with LeBron James handling ball-handling duties as well.

However, according to a team press release, the Cavs will now also be without Shumpert for at least the next 5-7 days. Shumpert left last night’s game against the Clippers in the first half with left knee soreness. He was examined and did not return.

As first reported by Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com, the Cavs will likely recall two-way player John Holland from the Canton Charge to replace Shumpert on the Cavs’ active roster. According to VardonDwyane Wade could also see his role at point guard increase after he filled in admirably during the Cavs’ come from behind victory against the Clippers last night.

There’s more from Cleveland and the rest of the Central Division:

  • As detailed by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.comKyle Korver has become an important centerpiece of the Cavaliers’ line-up so far this season. Perhaps most telling is James’ comparison of Korver to former teammate and 10-time NBA All-Star Ray Allen. “You’ve got two of the greatest shooters to ever play this game,” James said. “There’s a lot of similarities in their approach… they take that craft, that marksmanship very seriously.
  • In another piece for Cleveland.com, Fedor analyzes how James is beginning to accept the challenge of defending the opposing team’s best offensive player during crunch time. In the fourth quarter of the Cavs’ recent victories against the Knicks and the Clippers, James was the primary defender in the fourth quarter against both Kristaps Porzingis and Blake Griffin.
  • Avery Bradley is slowing becoming one of the best two-way guards in the NBA, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. Bradley is averaging career-bests in PPG (17.8) and 3P% (45.2%) this season and Stan Van Gundy has been impressed. “He came in with the respect based on what he had done, but it grows a lot more when you’re out here every day and see the way he goes to work.” The Pistons are currently tied for 2nd place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 10-5.
  • The Bulls’ Zach LaVine is expected to be cleared for practice on Monday, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. LaVine, who has not yet played for the Bulls this season after being traded from the Timberwolves as part of the Jimmy Butler trade, has been out with a torn ACL since February.

And-Ones: De Colo, Okafor, Shumpert, Wright

French guard Nando De Colo has enjoyed some of the best seasons of his playing career in recent years, including earning EuroLeague MVP honors for CSKA Moscow in 2016. However, while De Colo is happy to continue playing in Europe and is concentrating on that for the time being, he admits that he hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of an NBA return.

De Colo spent two seasons with the Spurs and Raptors from 2013 to 2015, but never got to play a significant role during his first stint in the NBA, as he tells Spanish media outlet Farhampton Magazine (link via TalkBasket.net).

“The truth is that going to San Antonio was a somewhat complicated decision because I knew I could continue in Europe,” De Colo said. “I had contacts with Barcelona, for example. On the other hand, I wanted to go to the NBA and see how it was. In the Spurs, I didn’t have the opportunities I expected. I think that is a part of life that you can’t control.”

At age 30, De Colo still has time to return to the NBA, but given his starring role for CSKA, it’d be no surprise if he decided to remain overseas to finish his career.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The Timberwolves don’t have any interest in Jahlil Okafor, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Okafor, who had his 2018/19 turned down by the Sixers, remains on the trade block and may even end up seeking a buyout.
  • Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert will be sidelined for at least the next five to seven days due to knee soreness, the team announced today in a press release. Shumpert, the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, is averaging a career-low 18.2 minutes per contest early this season for Cleveland.
  • Longtime NBA forward Dorell Wright, who appeared in 549 regular season games over the course of 11 NBA seasons, has signed in Germany with Brose Bamberg, the team recently announced (via Twitter). Wright last played in the NBA for Portland during the 2014/15 season.
  • Former NBA forward Al Harrington has taken an unusual career path since his days as a player ended, having gotten into the medical marijuana business. David Aldridge of NBA.com has an interesting and in-depth look at Harrington, who wants to encourage the NBA to consider the benefits of medical marijuana.

Central Notes: Shumpert, Wade, Stephenson, Bucks

Iman Shumpert, whom the Cavaliers spent most of the summer trying to trade, was in the starting lineup for Saturday’s loss at New Orleans, notes Dave McMenamin of ESPN. The move was necessitated by injuries, as Derrick Rose continued to be unavailable with a sprained left ankle.

Rose wants to remain in the lineup once he returns, writes Jason Lloyd of The Athletic, and he was concerned he might have to sit out today’s game if he played Saturday. Coach Tyronn Lue recently moved Dwyane Wade and Jae Crowder to the bench and didn’t want to disrupt their new roles, so he called on Shumpert. The Cavaliers have used four different starting lineups in six games.

There’s more this morning from the Central Division:

  • Cleveland’s reported interest in Suns guard Eric Bledsoe is the latest sign that the addition of Wade isn’t working out, states Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Wade, who asked to be removed from the starting lineup this week, is averaging 8.6 points through five games and is shooting just 43% from the field. Winderman suggests that Wade’s friendship with LeBron James blinded the Cavs to the reality that Wade can’t produce at an elite level anymore.
  • Pacers swingman Lance Stephenson hasn’t lost confidence despite a terrible start to the new season, relays Mark Montieth of NBA.com. In a reserve role for the high-scoring Pacers, Stephenson is averaging 6.2 points per game and shooting just 27% from the field, 13% from 3-point range and 38.5% from the free throw line. “I’m going to keep shooting,” said Stephenson, who came back to Indiana late last season after spending time with the Hornets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Timberwolves. “My confidence is never going to go down. In practice I don’t miss, so it’s probably just mental. A lot of rushed shots. Just stay poised and don’t get out of it. Bring it every game. I haven’t lost my confidence at all.”
  • When Myles Turner returns from the concussion that has sidelined him since opening night, Pacers coach Nate McMillan is considering using him together with Domantas Sabonis, Montieth writes in the same story. The move would put the team’s two best rebounders on the court at the same time. “It gives us some size, it gives us some versatility,” McMillan said. “We’re big, but we still have the speed and athleticism to defend and run our sets. “I look forward to getting to that as much as possible.”
  • Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova is trying to use his experience to bring chemistry to a young team, notes Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times.

Pacific Notes: Curry, Iguodala, Clippers, Suns

Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala were both fined for their behavior during the Warriors‘ 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies on October 21st. Curry was docked $50K for flinging his mouthpiece at an official. Iguodala’s fine was less severe — $15K for verbally abusing an official.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr was not too rattled by Curry’s antics, sarcastically offering, “I think he should be suspended eight, maybe 10 games. It was egregious. It was awful.”

Here’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Austin Rivers proffered that the Clippers are a better team without Chris Paul. While careful to note that Paul is a great player, Rivers said that the team has improved its cohesion and competitiveness. “I think we have more talent this year,” Rivers said, per Elliott Teaford of The Daily Breeze. “Look how many pieces we got for one guy. We got a defensive dog (Patrick Beverley). We drafted well.”
  • With the Suns exploring potential trades involving Eric Bledsoe, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders notes (via Twitter) that Phoenix “looked hard” at Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert over the summer, but Shumpert’s player option is a problem for the club.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made an immediate impact on the Lakers during his debut against the Pelicans. As Bill Oram of The Orange County Register details, Caldwell-Pope nailed a three less than 30 seconds into the game and gives coach Luke Walton a legitimate “3-and-D” option.

Cavs Notes: Wade, J.R. Smith, Frye, Shumpert

Newest Cavalier Dwyane Wade will open the 2017/18 season in the team’s starting lineup, head coach Tyronn Lue confirmed today. As Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com details, J.R. Smith will come off the bench with Wade taking over as the starting shooting guard, and Lue said today that Smith handled the news well.

“He was fine,” Lue said. “It’s tough, you’ve been in position where you went to three straight Finals and you’ve been the starting two guard. But like I said, it’s about sacrifice if you want to win. J.R. was great about it. Just knows he has to have a different role right now so we’ll see how it works.”

Although Derrick Rose will join Wade in the starting lineup, Lue said today that Rose will head to the bench early in games and then return to run the second-team offense. In that scenario, the former MVP would likely lead a lineup that features Smith, Kyle Korver, and Jeff Green, though we’ll see what adjustments the team makes when the season officially gets underway.

Here’s more on the Cavs:

  • One player who likely won’t see many minutes in the Cavs’ rotation – barring injuries – is Channing Frye, Vardon writes in a separate piece. Lue told Frye that he probably won’t play a whole lot this season, and the head coach said the veteran forward responded admirably. “That’s the type of vet you want around,” Lue said. “Unbelievable character guy. He understands it’s a long season. There’s going to be opportunities.”
  • Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net hears that the Cavs already know which player with a guaranteed salary they’ll waive, assuming they can’t trade anyone. The Cavs haven’t identified that player, of course, but Richard Jefferson has been the candidate mentioned most frequently. Cleveland’s initial cuts may begin on Tuesday, Amico adds.
  • According to Amico, the Cavaliers continue to explore possible trades involving Iman Shumpert, but they’ve had trouble finding a taker all offseason, and Shumpert’s foot injury isn’t helping matters.
  • We rounded up a few Cavs notes on Sunday as well, including news on Isaiah Thomas‘ change in representation.
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