Iman Shumpert

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.

Central Notes: Shumpert, Teodosic, Ellenson

The Cavaliers will be without swingman Iman Shumpert for the next seven-to-10 days, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. The 27-year-old sprained his left foot in a preseason game this week and could be sidelined until the regular season begins.

Shumpert’s absence comes at a critical time for the Cavaliers, who will be hard-pressed to trim down their roster after the addition of Dwyane Wade last week. While Shumpert has been reassured of his role with the club, Cavs fans will be eager to see what the veteran is capable of producing in 2017/18.

Shumpert, owed $11MM in 2017/18, saw his role with the Cavaliers decrease toward the end of last season and averaged just 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds per game for the team on the year.

This year, with considerably more depth in the mix in Cleveland, it will be interesting to see what sort of role the perimeter defender carves out for himself with the Cavaliers. Missing the duration of preseason won’t help him make a solid impression.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • It won’t be easy for Stan Van Gundy to narrow his Pistons rotation down to eight or nine players, especially considering how Henry Ellenson has played of late, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. The head coach will need to find a way of balancing the minutes for Ellenson, Anthony Tolliver, Tobias Harris and Jon Leuer, all of whom can play the four.
  • Expect Justin Holiday to step into a leadership role with the rebuilding Bulls, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. “He’s done a good job of pulling the group together,” head coach Fred Hoiberg said. “If we’re having a stretch in practice where we’re struggling or we’re hitting adversity and we’re not handling it the right way, if we need a shot of energy, Justin is the guy that pulls the group together. And you have to have a guy like that.
  • The Bulls were supposedly close to a deal with Milos Teodosic this summer but it was derailed when the club traded Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves, effectively shifting their focus to a full-on rebuild. The guard’s agent, Nick Lotsos, spoke of the free agency process to NBA Greece (article translated by Eurohoops).

Cavaliers Notes: Green, Shumpert, Lue, Patterson

After 10 seasons in the NBA, Jeff Green couldn’t pass up an opportunity to play for a championship contender, relays Joe Gabriele of NBA.com. Green took a substantial pay cut to join the Cavaliers, dropping his salary from $15MM last season to the veterans minimum of $2.3MM. He is also relegated to a reserve role, with LeBron James cemented as the team’s starting small forward, but Green said the shot at a ring makes the sacrifices worthwhile.

“That was what I was looking for and that’s what came to my sight – that there was an opportunity here,” said Green, who is with his sixth NBA team. “So I was thankful for it and I couldn’t pass it up; the opportunity was there and I jumped on it. It wasn’t a matter of timing or when it happened. It was just when I got the call and thought about it. And I didn’t have to think long. I wrote down the pros and cons of what I wanted. And this situation fit every ‘pro’ on that list.”

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • Coach Tyronn Lue reassured Iman Shumpert about his future with the team following an offseason filled with trade rumors, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The Cavaliers came close to shipping Shumpert to Houston in early July, but the Rockets pulled out of the deal after signing P.J. Tucker. Cleveland continued to search for a trade, but the right partner never emerged. Shumpert was frustrated by the reports and shared that sentiment with Lue in a pre-camp meeting. He was also upset about the way his role diminished late in the season and into the playoffs. Shumpert has a player option on his $11MM salary for next season and could become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
  • Shumpert needs to become more reliable on offense before the Cavs will trust him against the Warriors, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Shumpert was a non-factor as Cleveland’s season ended in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, getting off the bench for less than four minutes. He has vowed to contribute more on the offensive end of the court, but with a turnover rate of 19% in transition, Lloyd cautions that might not be best for the team.
  • Andrae Patterson, formerly with Utah’s front office, will join the Cavaliers as director of basketball administration, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The 41-year-old had a brief NBA career with the Timberwolves and played nine seasons in Europe.

Cavaliers Mull Looming Roster Decision

Richard Jefferson‘s hold on a roster spot in Cleveland appears somewhat tenuous, according to reports from Jason Lloyd of The Athletic and Sam Amico of AmicoHoops.net.

After signing Dwyane Wade last week, the Cavaliers are now carrying 16 players on fully guaranteed contracts, plus 2016/17 holdovers Kay Felder and Edy Tavares. Even if Cleveland cuts Felder and Tavares, the club will need to trade or waive one more player from a group of candidates that likely includes Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye, Jose Calderon, and Jefferson.

Calderon has been solid for the Cavs so far, according to Lloyd, who suggests that the veteran point guard should be safe, given the uncertainty on the depth chart ahead of him. Shumpert and Frye are considered trade candidates, but their salaries ($10.34MM and $7.42MM respectively) will make them difficult to move.

That leaves Jefferson as the potential odd man out. Unlike Calderon, Jefferson is trade-eligible now, and unlike Shumpert and Frye, his salary is modest, at just $2.5MM. The Cavaliers are exploring smaller-scale trades involving Jefferson, according to Amico, and finding a taker for the veteran forward would be preferable to cutting him, since it would reduce the Cavs’ projected tax bill substantially.

However, Cleveland has gotten no traction on a deal so far, and may end up having to outright release Jefferson or another player, since rivals won’t be eager to help out the defending Eastern Conference champs. If the Cavs do find a team willing to take on Jefferson or someone else, the salary dump would likely cost Cleveland at least one draft pick and/or cash.

Cavaliers Notes: James, Anthony, Cousins, Wade

Don’t expect a firm answer from LeBron James tomorrow when Media Day questions turn to his future, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. Monday will mark the first time the Cavaliers star has spoken to reporters since Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the first time since rumors emerged that he has plans to join the Lakers as a free agent next July. LeBron will probably tell the media that he hasn’t made up his mind, which Vardon believes is true.

The talk about LeBron’s next decision will overshadow other issues surrounding the team heading into training camp, such as the condition of Isaiah Thomas‘ hip, the new personnel on hand, the chances of Dwyane Wade coming aboard after a buyout from the Bulls and whether the organization plans to keep or trade the unprotected first-rounder it got from Brooklyn. But Cavaliers fans had better get used to it because LeBron’s future is going to eclipse everything all season.

There’s more news out of Cleveland:

  • The Knicks were demanding a first-round pick from the Cavaliers in exchange for Carmelo Anthony, Vardon writes in a separate story. Anthony included Cleveland among the three teams he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to join, but the Cavs felt the price was too high.
  • The Cavaliers are listening to offers for the Brooklyn pick, but it’s unlikely a deal will involve either of the Pelicans’ big men, according to Sam Amico of Amicohoops. Rumors have been circulating about DeMarcus Cousins, who will be a free agent next summer, but Amico says the teams haven’t discussed a Cousins trade and the Cavs may not even be interested. Also, Amico hears that New Orleans won’t trade Anthony Davis under any circumstances.
  • Amico believes Wade is headed to Cleveland, possibly before the season begins. He and the Bulls are ready to part ways, and Amico sees no reason why the buyout should be a lengthy process. He passes along a few other roster details in the same piece, stating that it’s unlikely that Kay Felder or Edy Tavares earns a spot, although both could wind up with the team’s G League affiliate in Canton; most scouts like Ante Zizic, who was acquired in the Kyrie Irving trade, more than Cedi Osman; and the Cavs and Rockets “were at the one-yard line, ready to punch it in” on an Iman Shumpert trade this summer.

Central Notes: Wade, Irving, Quicken Loans Arena

While there’s reason to believe that Dwyane Wade would graciously accept a buyout from the Bulls, he’s not going to put up a fuss about it, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Wade, after all, has 23.8 million reasons to put up with being a good sport for the rest of the season.

It’s been said that Wade started hoping for a buyout following the trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves. If that deal serves as the symbolic beginning of Chicago’s rebuild, then it doesn’t make an awful lot of sense for the Bulls, as an organization, to continue paying such an exorbitant amount for a 35-year-old that isn’t particularly motivated to stay there.

Wade averaged a respectable 18.3 points per game for the Bulls last season and could no doubt contribute to a contender should he be bought out and freed up to sign with one. That said, the 15-year-veteran has a solid reputation, not to mention a legacy, to uphold during the final years of his career.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • According to Iman Shumpert, the Cavaliers weren’t exactly surprised when Kyrie Irving asked to be traded, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. Shumpert adds that Irving didn’t have anything against LeBron James, just that he was eager to move on.
  • The Bulls have named Jannero Pargo the new head coach of their Windy City G League team, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • Construction has begun at Quicken Loans Arena, Jay Miller of Crains writes. The renovations of the Cavaliers‘ stadium were originally scheduled in June but held up by citizens groups that pushed for a referendum regarding the use of tax money for the project.
  • Despite only suiting up for seven games during his rookie year, Diamond Stone finds himself on his fourth team since getting drafted last summer. His latest opportunity, with the Bulls, could be his best yet, Dan Santaromita of CSN Chicago writes.

Central Notes: Bradley, Cousins, Cavaliers

There haven’t been many people outside of Detroit praising the Pistons for how they handled their offseason, a Detroit News report claims, but one move that’s gotten recognition is the addition of Avery Bradley.

Bradley joins a Pistons team that got off to a slow start in 2016/17 and never fully recovered. When the club breaks camp this October, they’ll look to Bradley as a featured contributor both on and off the floor. The vaunted perimeter defender will step into what could be the largest offensive role of his career and could even, according to at least one reporter, make a case for an All-Star berth.

The report draws attention to a recent feature from CBS’ Brad Botkin. In the piece, Botkin compiled a list of five under-the-radar NBA moves from the summer and thinks that the 26-year-old entering into a contract year could be a major upgrade for the Pistons over the outgoing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • In his list of five under-the-radar offseason moves, CBS’ Brad Botkin writes that the Cavaliers will get a perimeter defender, the likes of which they lacked last season, in recently acquired forward Jae Crowder.
  • The Cavaliers will remain contenders following the Kyrie Irving trade but uncertainty abounds for the franchise. Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com dredges up some of the instabilities that the organization will have to address in the coming months.
  • We’ve written about how the Pelicans have at least a passing interest in Iman Shumpert. Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype has taken things one step further, amalgamating various hypothetical deals that could unfold between the Pels and Cavaliers. It’s unlikely that a Shumpert trade would escalate to the point of DeMarcus Cousins and the Brooklyn first-rounder changing hands but there’s at least some merit to the speculation.
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