The 2016-17 NBA regular season hasn’t even started yet and already the trade rumors are quickly flying. Looks like the Cleveland Cavaliers might be attempting to move shooting guard Iman Shumpert, according to ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe.
This desire to rid themselves of a top perimeter defense player may be financially motivated since Shumpert, who averaged 5.8 PPG during the 2015-16 season, is set to make $9.6 million this season so shedding themselves of the guard would actually lower the Cavs luxury tax payment.
Since Cleveland is need of a back up point guard, Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves is a strong possibility. However, the Timberwolves are said to be reluctant to move Rubio at this point, not to mention the fact that there are other teams in the race to grab him if they do move him, including the Sacramento Kings (though, in all honesty, the Kings don’t have any stand-outs that would entice Minnesota enough to trade for Rubio).
Another strong trade possibility is Tyus Jones, who was used sparingly by Minnesota and averaged 4.2 PPG and 2.9 assists during his rookie season.
Losing Shumpert could hurt the Cavs defensively in the long run since he’s often given the job of defending opposition’s top perimeter players, so they might want to think rationally about moving him unless it’s for a player who has a high defensive IQ.