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Shumpert Out at Least Three Months
Tuesday, Sept. 29
Per Ananth Pandian of CBS Sports, the Cavaliers announced Shumpert will be out 12 to 14 weeks after he has surgery on his right wrist at the Cleveland Clinic on Wednesday to repair a ruptured extensor carpi ulnaris sheath:
"In training last week he had an issue where he hit the rim with his right wrist...I believe catching a lob," Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
Since coming over from the New York Knicks in a trade in January, the 25-year-old shooting guard has been a solid role player for the Cavs. He averaged 7.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game for Cleveland, a decent total since he came off the bench in 37 of 38 games with the team.
The bulk of his value came at the defensive end. When Shumpert was on the court, the Cavaliers had a defensive rating of 99.2, making him the only Cavs player with an on-court defensive rating below 100, per NBA.com. With Shumpert off the court, the figure ballooned to 105.
The Cavaliers' demise in last year's NBA Finals wasn't swift but rather a death by a thousand cuts. They slowly lost player after player to injury along the way until they simply ran out of bodies to compete with the Golden State Warriors.
Things are different now for the Cavaliers, who should have a healthy Kevin Love, but the injury to Shumpert, combined with Kyrie Irving's knee rehab and Tristan Thompson's continued absence while seeking a new contract, does leave holes on the roster before the season begins on October 27 at Chicago.
However, as McMenamin noted, Shumpert's injury is softened by the team's decision to bring J.R. Smith back into the fold. While Smith doesn't provide Shumpert's defensive prowess, he can more than fill Shumpert's shoes offensively.
The Cavaliers figure to be at or near the top of the Eastern Conference again this season. Shumpert's being on the shelf for the beginning of the campaign isn't what the team wants to hear, but it shouldn't deter the Cavs from making a run at their ultimate goal.