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Kings Have Interest in Shumpert
Thursday, Feb. 18
Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reported a potential deal for Shumpert is "sounding less likely at the moment."
Earlier, Jones reported a deal for Shumpert "would be contingent upon the Kings’ willingness to part with third-year guard Ben McLemore and center Kosta Koufos. Cleveland would send center Timofey Mozgov to Sacramento as part of the deal."
Shumpert Reportedly Unlikely to Be Dealt by Deadline
Thursday, Feb. 18
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reported on Wednesday that Shumpert is expected to remain in Cleveland after the trade deadline. Fox Sports' Sam Amico reiterated that the "Shumpert talk [is] exaggerated."
On Tuesday, ESPN.com's Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst reported on the buzz surrounding Shumpert, who provided a spark for the Cavs last season when he arrived in a trade along with J.R. Smith. The former New York Knicks duo proved to be brilliant additions to Cleveland's perimeter rotation.
Disappointing Season Puts Shumpert on Trade Block
It appears general manager David Griffin is exploring as many options as possible to get the Cavs over the hump and deliver a championship.
Despite his tremendous perimeter defense and versatility to play the 2 or the 3, Shumpert hasn't performed up to expectations in 2015-16 and is not untouchable at the trade deadline. He's shooting only 38.8 percent from the field and 32.2 percent from three-point range.
Former Lost Lettermen chief Jim Weber thought Shumpert's contract situation might hinder his trade value even more:
LOL, Cavs trying to trade Iman Shumpert 52 games after signing him to 4-year, $40 million extension. Good luck w/ that.— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) February 15, 2016
Rust may be factoring in to Shumpert's lackluster performance, considering he missed the early part of the season while recovering from wrist surgery.
Nevertheless, there is little room for excuses at this juncture, because Cleveland is in full championship-or-bust mode. Expectations are for the current Eastern Conference leaders to return to the NBA Finals and for LeBron James to finally deliver a Larry O'Brien Trophy for his hometown team.
Intensifying scrutiny surrounding the squad was the decision to fire head coach David Blatt in favor of Tyronn Lue, who's gone 8-3 since taking the helm and has implored the Cavs to run an uptempo offense.
A player like Shumpert fits with Lue's philosophy, provided he can execute better.
The timing of trade talks makes the situation trickier. Shumpert has chemistry with the current Cavs core, was on the big stage in their most recent playoff run and stood to benefit as much as anyone from the All-Star break because of his aforementioned injury situation.
Mozgov is also reportedly available, according to ESPN, which has stated that Cleveland is interested in McLemore and Koufos of the Kings. Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver is mentioned as a "dream target," albeit a somewhat unrealistic one.
With his added emphasis on offense, Lue may be shaping the front office's approach to the trade deadline, which seems geared toward additional bench scoring in light of the latest rumors.