Iman Shumpert

Trade Rumors: Butler, Rubio, Cavaliers

Jimmy Butler continues to be very much in demand, according to a post from Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Executives from other teams believe the Timberwolves are offering the seventh pick in tonight’s draft as part of a package to get the Bulls to re-open trade talks. Minnesota coach/executive Tom Thibodeau coached Butler in Chicago and is eager for a reunion. The Cavaliers made an unsuccessful offer for Butler, and sources relayed to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that Butler’s preference is to stay with the Bulls. The Timberwolves are also talking to the Pacers about Paul George, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical tweets.

There are more trade rumors as the draft draws nearer:

  • The Wolves are once again trying to find takers for Ricky Rubio, tweets Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Earlier reports identified the Mavericks and Knicks as teams that might have interest in the sixth-year point guard, who still has two seasons and more than $29MM left on his contract.
  • The Cavaliers are in a “holding pattern” as they await progress on several proposed trades, according to Sam Amico of AmicoHoops (Twitter link). Cleveland’s problem is a shortage of tradable assets and what insiders are describing as a “flooded market” (Twitter link).
  • Cleveland is finding that no one wants to take on the hefty contracts of Iman Shumpert, J.R. Smith or Tristan Thompson, Amico adds (Twitter link). Shumpert has two years left on his deal at a combined $21.3MM. Smith re-signed last summer and is owed more than $44MM over the next three seasons. Thompson has three years remaining at more than $52.4MM.

Cavs Exploring Trade Market For Shumpert, Frye

In an effort to upgrade their roster, the Cavaliers have been exploring the trade market for Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye, sources tell Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net.

It’s no surprise that the Cavs are looking into possible deals involving Shumpert and Frye, though I wouldn’t expect the team to find much of value on the trade market. Shumpert will earn $10.34MM in 2017/18, while Frye will make $7.42MM, and neither veteran plays a huge role in Cleveland — teams interested in adding role players could probably find similar players for comparable prices – or less – on the free agent market.

While Shumpert and Frye may not bring a huge return to Cleveland, they do make some sense as trade chips, since both players could be on expiring deals next season. Frye will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2018, while Shumpert has a player option for 2018/19. That might make them more viable trade candidates than someone like J.R. Smith, who has multiple guaranteed years left on his contract. Ultimately though, the Cavs aren’t likely to land a true impact player on the trade market unless they’re willing to discuss Kyrie Irving or Kevin Love.

As the Cavs explore potential deals, general manager David Griffin continues to field calls and make decisions for the franchise, despite the fact that his contract will expire at the end of the month, writes Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com. It has been a week since Cleveland was eliminated from the postseason, and there was an expectation that there might be some resolution on Griffin’s situation by now, but with no new agreement in place, the situation is starting to “cause some unrest” in the Cavs’ front office, per McMenamin.

One source who spoke to McMenamin describes it as “insanity,” while a source tells Amico it’s “going to be a hairy few days” in Cleveland as Griffin continues to focus on the Cavs’ future while his own future remains up in the air.

Shumpert, Smith: Carmelo Wants To Stay In New York

Trading Carmelo Anthony out of New York may not be as easy as team president Phil Jackson is hoping, writes Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.

Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith, two of Anthony’s friends and former teammates, believe he wants to remain with the Knicks and will use his no-trade clause to veto any deal.

“Sometimes you feel like it’s just unfinished business, and I feel like that’s what it is with Melo,” Shumpert said, referring to the Knicks’ 31-51 season. “He don’t want to leave on that note.”

Smith noted how hard Anthony worked to get to New York, forcing the Nuggets’ hands in a 2011 deal so he could be part of the league’s biggest market.

“He does want to stay in New York. He made the effort to get to New York,” Smith said. “Granted, it hasn’t gone as well as he hoped it would. But I’m sure that’s where he wants to be.”

Anthony will make more than $26.2MM next season and has an early termination option for his nearly $28MM salary in 2018/19. Jackson would like to get those figures off the Knicks’ salary cap, and contacted the Clippers, Cavaliers and Celtics before February’s deadline in an attempt to work out a trade.

Any team that does deal for Anthony would have to absorb his 15% trade kicker, which would bring his total cap hit to about $30MM.Anthony hasn’t made any public appearances since the season ended, Bondy notes, apart from a single workout session. He has also stopped posting on social media since mid-April.

While Anthony has chosen silence, Jackson has remained persistent about his desire to find a taker for his star. He began with a postseason press conference in which he stated that Anthony would be “better off somewhere else,” then repeated those sentiments to the media at the draft combine.

“I don’t think [Jackson] should’ve been so vocal about [wanting to trade Anthony],” Shumpert said. “That’s just me. I think a lot of stuff is better if everybody just assumes what’s going on and they don’t really know what’s going on. I didn’t like that it was publicized, but what am I going to do? He said some stuff about me too.

“I know it’s not going to bother Melo’s jumpshot next season. Melo is going to continue to work and get better, and continue to try to win. That’s all he can do.”

Central Notes: Pistons, Baynes, Shumpert

At the end of the Pistons‘ season last month, president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy vowed that changes were coming for the team, but there’s not necessarily an obvious path for the team to make personnel changes, contends Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.

In Langlois’ view, it’s obvious that the Pistons need to add some scoring punch, perhaps in the form of three-point shooting. However, the team’s top three-point shooter – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – will be a restricted free agent, and re-signing him will likely limit Detroit’s ability to add another impact scorer, since most of the team’s other rotation players are under contract.

One Pistons regular not under contract for next season is Aron Baynes, and his player option decision will play a part in how the club approaches the offseason. According to Vince Ellis of The Detroit News (Twitter link), Baynes’ agent said today that his client figures to mull his decision on that option right up until the June 20 deadline.

Here’s more on the Pistons and a couple of their Central rivals:

  • In a separate piece for Pistons.com, Langlois details the recent history of “mystery men” in the first round of the NBA draft, and wonders if the Pistons might be the team to roll the dice on a relative unknown this June.
  • The trial date for Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert is set for June 26, meaning it won’t happen until after the season is over, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Shumpert is facing charges of driving while under the influence of marijuana, and would face a penalty from the NBA if it’s not his first offense.
  • Gretchen Ehlke of The Associated Press (link via The Journal-Sentinel) provides an update on the Bucks‘ new arena, which is currently under construction and remains on track to open for the team’s 2018/19 season.
  • On Tuesday night, we passed along word that Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue reached out to Kevin Garnett during the regular season about the possibility of an NBA comeback.

Central Notes: Felder, James, Pistons, Williams

Kay Felder made an impact in his most recent D-League assignment; scoring 26 points in a match-up with the Maine Red Claws. The 5’9″ Felder raised eyebrows, however, with his decision to dunk at the conclusion of a 110-99 win, when the away team had already conceded the loss. NBA vet Jordan Mickey didn’t appreciate the gesture:

“I take pride in being a professional and not doing anything like that at the end of a game,” Mickey told Glenn Jordan of Amico Hoops. “No NBA team I know of would do that. I know the Celtics wouldn’t do it for sure and I doubt the Cavaliers would do something like that. Guys know better than to do stuff like that. It is what it is, I’ll keep that in the back of my mind if we happen to play these guys again.”

Still riding high from his 26-point showing, Felder praised the Cavs for giving him an opportunity to receive minutes with the Canton Charge.

“I think the Cavs are doing a great job of bringing me down, calling me up, letting me see what Kyrie (Irving) or LeBron (James) is doing and bringing it down here and helping these guys out as well,” Felder said. “It’s not just for me. I can also help these guys as well with what I see up there.”

More from around the Central…

  • Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon-Journal was critical of the Cavs‘ defensive effort in a loss to Denver on Wednesday. Ridenour understands that the 32-year-old James needs to conserve energy as the postseason approaches, but pointed out a second quarter sequence in which James stayed downcourt to protest a no-call. LeBron finished the game with a -30 rating, his second-worst plus-minus of the season.
  • The Pistons‘ late-season swoon has resulted from “a complicated mosaic of factors,” Rod Beard of The Detroit News writes. Specifically, Beard points out poor defense, inconsistencies at point guard, a lack of leadership, and slow starts to must-win games. [Stan] Van Gundy does much of the talking but the leadership mantle needs to come from the locker room,” Beard writes. “After Wednesday’s loss, the players were saying all the right things about playing better in the last 10 games, but the next step is turning that talk into action — and more importantly, victories.”
  • Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com addressed Derrick Williams‘ recent lack of playing time in his latest mailbag. Despite a stellar plus-minus when Williams and James are each on the court, Tyronn Lue has gone with J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver over Williams in the second unit. Vardon points out that if Williams is getting minutes in the postseason, either Iman Shumpert or Richard Jefferson would have to be benched; that’s a move he doesn’t see Lue pulling off.

Knicks Notes: Jennings, Griffin, Hornacek, Porzingis

Brandon Jennings is still taking shots at the Knicks, even though he’s now in a Wizards uniform, relays Keely Diven of CSNMidAtlantic. After his first game for Washington on Friday, Jennings told reporters the change has been beneficial. “I’m in the same position I was in New York,” he said, “but just in a better system for me personally and with a team that actually plays together.” Jennings was never shy about criticizing the Knicks while he played there, perhaps surprised to see the inner turmoil in the organization after signing a one-year deal worth more than $4.8MM last summer. Jennings agreed to a buyout with New York and signed with the Wizards on Wednesday. He will be an unrestricted free agent again in July.

There’s more out of New York:

  • Cavaliers GM David Griffin said the team agreed to take J.R. Smith from the Knicks in a 2015 trade involving Iman Shumpert so it wouldn’t have to surrender a first-round pick, tweets Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. Griffin recounted the deal Saturday at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Smith and Shumpert both became contributors during the Cavs’ two trips to the NBA Finals, while the Knicks received Lance Thomas, Lou Amundson, Alex Kirk and a 2019 second-rounder.
  • Coach Jeff Hornacek says defensive lapses, not the triangle offense, are behind the Knicks’ difficulties in closing out games, according to Al Iannazzone of Newsday. Several players have been pointing fingers at the triangle, with Carmelo Anthony saying after Friday’s loss to the Sixers that other teams adjust during the games, but the Knicks don’t. “When we get down, especially in fourth quarters, we want to run something that’s part of a system,” Hornacek said. “The triangle aspects is one of the systems that you can run that hopefully they can’t double, hopefully they can’t switch. It at least gets you organized in a set.”
  • Phil Jackson’s attempts to trade Anthony and Derrick Rose before the deadline are evidence that the Knicks will eventually revolve around Kristaps Porzingis, Iannazzone writes in a separate story. He suggests that Porzingis should be made the focus of the offense now, even if it means fewer touches for Anthony.

Trade Rumors: C. Lee, Clippers, Pacers, Jazz, Kings

Earlier today, we heard that the Clippers recently showed interest in Courtney Lee, and according to Ian Begley and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Clips and Knicks continue to talk. New York has been seeking draft picks in discussions on Lee and other players, and the Clippers don’t have any immediate first-rounders to offer, as Begley notes. So if the Knicks want to send Lee to Los Angeles, they may have to settle for a player or get a third team involved.

Here are more of the latest trade rumors from around the NBA:

  • The Pacers have been talking to teams about possible trades that would allow them to clear roster spots, tweets ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. As Windhorst notes, teams suspect that might be related to their talks with the Celtics regarding Paul George. Of course, Indiana may also just be doing due diligence as well in case Boston ups its offer — the Pacers wouldn’t want to be stuck having to waive useful players to make a deal work.
  • The Jazz don’t appear likely at this point to make a deal, says Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com (via Twitter). TNT’s David Aldridge notes (via Twitter) that Utah could still make a move for Deron Williams, but if Williams isn’t dealt, the veteran point guard won’t ask for a buyout from the Mavericks.
  • The Kings continue to mull their options, but don’t appear to be moving forward with talks for players like Darren Collison and Arron Afflalo for now, according to Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post (Twitter link), who adds that Sacramento’s asking prices may be too high. If those prices come down, things could change.
  • The Wizards continue to work the phones, but aren’t overly optimistic about getting another deal done by the deadline, tweets Bontemps.
  • The market for Iman Shumpert appears to be cooling as the deadline approaches, per Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net (Twitter link). Amico says that teams are asking for a draft pick from the Cavaliers, and Cleveland doesn’t have many picks left.

Cavaliers Notes: Shumpert, Mack, Sanders

Iman Shumpert has been the subject of trade rumors with the Wolves and Rockets among the teams showing interest, but coach Tyronn Lue believes the Cavaliers will keep him on the team, as Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com relays. “You wish you could trade and get all the people you say you can get, but it never happens. … If you hear about 200 trades, there’s probably two that happens,” Lue said.

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Back-up point guard isn’t as much of a need for the Cavs as it was earlier in the season, Vardon writes in the same piece. “In the playoffs you can always get away with playing [LeBron James] at the backup point guard,” Lue said. “The backup point guard situation was more so to not play Bron and [Kyrie Irving] so many minutes throughout the regular season, but, I mean we just gotta go with what we got.”
  • The Cavs recently engaged in trade talks with the Jazz regarding a swap of Shelvin Mack and Jordan McRae, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com reports (Twitter link). Haynes adds that the discussions have stalled out.
  • Lue said he was impressed with Larry Sanders, who worked out for the Cavs today, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal tweets. Lue added that the biggest question with the big man is whether he loves the game or not.

Trade Rumors: Shumpert, Rockets, Wizards, Hawks

Although the Cavaliers have shown a willingness this season to move Iman Shumpert, the team has become a little more wary of a deal lately with J.R. Smith sidelined, per Marc Stein and Calvin Watkins of ESPN.com. The Rockets are interested in Shumpert, but don’t want to give up Patrick Beverley in a deal, as we heard this afternoon.

Despite Houston’s interest in Shumpert, a league source tells Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com that the Cavs don’t like what the Rockets are offering. According to Stein and Watkins, K.J. McDaniels is believed to be a part of Houston’s offer, though it’s not clear what other pieces the Rockets would put on the table.

While we wait to see if the Rockets and Cavs can move closer to a deal within the next 24 hours, let’s check in on a few more trade rumors and notes…

  • The Wizards aren’t just looking for a scorer, according to J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.com, who says (via Twitter) that the team is seeking another defender as well. Washington has been linked to P.J. Tucker, so the report makes sense. Michael adds (via Twitter) that it will be difficult to get someone one player capable of meeting both criteria, but the club appears willing to acquire a rental if it’s the right player.
  • In an interview with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical (video link), Hawks GM Wes Wilcox strongly reiterated that Paul Millsap isn’t going anywhere at the trade deadline, and will be the team’s top priority in free agency this summer. Wilcox also confirmed that Atlanta is approaching the deadline as a buyer.
  • Asked today about the Pistons‘ trade possibilites, head coach Stan Van Gundy said that the team hasn’t gone into trade discussions with a specific goal in mind. “We’ve been more open to listening and looking at things,” Van Gundy said, per Rod Beard of The Detroit News (Twitter link). Reports have suggested that the Pistons have listened to inquiries on guys like Andre Drummond and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, so the club isn’t closing the door on any possibilties.

Rockets Seeking Trade For Player Earning $10-12MM

11:31am: Iman Shumpert is one player who has drawn interest from the Rockets, league sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein (Twitter link). Shumpert is making a little under $10MM this year, and will earn a little over $10MM in 2017/18.

11:23am: The latest trade rumor involving the Rockets is both oddly specific and non-specific, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reports (via Twitter) that the club is looking to acquire a player earning a salary in the $10-12MM range. Houston is offering expiring contracts and cash savings to potential trade partners, according to Wojnarowski.

[RELATED: Rockets to acquire Lou Williams]

The Rockets’ six highest-paid players – all of whom are key rotation pieces – are on multiyear contracts, but players like K.J. McDaniels ($3.33MM), Nene ($2.898MM), and Tyler Ennis ($1.734MM) have no guaranteed money on their deals beyond this season, and could be among the pieces Houston would put on the table. Combining those three salaries would allow the Rockets to take back up to approximately $12MM.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that Houston already has nearly $88MM in guaranteed contracts on its books for the 2017/18 season, per Basketball Insiders. Acquiring a player earning $10-12MM for next season would take the team right up near the projected cap ($102MM), so GM Daryl Morey may be looking to use that room on a deadline acquisition instead of a summer free agent. If they were up against the cap, the Rockets would still have the mid-level exception to use in July to entice a free agent.

Having already struck a deal for Lou Williams, the Rockets will likely be focusing on adding a frontcourt player next. There’s no shortage of potential trade candidates in the $10-12MM range, but one potentially intriguing option would be Wilson Chandler.

Chandler is earning $11.233MM this season and $12MM+ next year, and was linked to the Rockets earlier this week. TNT’s David Aldridge tweeted last night that Denver remains on the lookout for a first-round pick and an expiring contract for Chandler or Danilo Gallinari, so perhaps there’s a fit there, though Houston is sending its 2017 first-rounder to the Lakers in the Williams deal.

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