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Iman Shumpert says Cavaliers players not surprised by Kyrie Irving trade request

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The cliché is “winning cures all ills.”

The reality is “winning masks the symptoms of the illness.” From the Billy Martin Oakland Athletics through today’s Cleveland Cavaliers, the chance to win has kept combustible players together longer than they would have otherwise. But it doesn’t last forever. Just as Shaq and Kobe.

Or Iman Shumpert, who told Complex Cavs players saw this coming, as transcribed by Joe Varden at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“We all knew certain things about this team that’s tough,” Shumpert told Complex News’ “Everyday Struggle” in a wide-ranging interview….

“(People say) it’s LeBron and Kyrie hate each other,” Shumpert said. “No, it’s two dudes that need the ball. LeBron needs the ball, Kyrie needs the ball, Kevin (Love) needs the ball. Swish (J.R. Smith) can’t shoot unless he has the ball. Kyle Korver can’t shoot unless he has the ball…

“I don’t think it’s f*** LeBron,” Shumpert said, characterizing Irving’s trade request. “I think it’s more of, ‘I learned, we won together, it’s time for something different.'”

Or, Irving recognized the writing on the wall and didn’t want to be the guy holding the bag a year from now in Cleveland.

Not many players would have asked out, but Irving marches to his own drummer. Teammates don’t describe him so much as difficult, more just different. He got in his own head about the situation and Cleveland, whatever it may be, and decided he wanted out. Now.

Whatever the reason he bombed, things will be awkward for a while — Cavs fans will boo Irving louder than they will cheer the banner opening night. But someday Irving and LeBron will hash it out and be fine, much like Shaq and Kobe.

Maybe the formula is winning + time cures all ills.

Conflicting report: Iman Shumpert hasn’t requested trade

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Iman Shumpert reportedly requested a trade from the Cavaliers.

Or not.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

What Shumpert wants probably doesn’t matter much , anyway. He’s a role player, and teams shuffle role players regardless of their desires.

Shumpert might prefer to stay in Cleveland. He might not. It seems likely his camp doesn’t want him associated with a trade request, a fairly common request that still rankles fans when it becomes public.

Either way, the Cavs likely want to unload the two years and $21,348,313 remaining on Shumpert’s contract – clearing resulting luxury-tax payments and baggage. J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver are fine at shooting guard, and maybe Dwyane Wade signs with the Cavaliers after getting bought out by the Bulls.

Shumpert just isn’t worth it – unless the sweetener necessary to dump him is too great. Then, he’ll be stuck in Cleveland, whether he likes it or not.

Report: Iman Shumpert requested trade from Cavaliers

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Kyrie Irving sent shockwaves through the NBA by requesting a trade from the Cavaliers. They resolved up by sending him to the Celtics.

But Cleveland apparently isn’t done dealing with trade requests from its guards.

Dave McMenamin of ESPN:

Lost in the attention surrounding Irving’s trade request is that Iman Shumpert also requested a trade after the season, multiple sources told ESPN. Cleveland was in talks to trade Shumpert and his $10.3 million contract to Minnesota or Houston, but both deals fell apart. Logic would tell you that the Cavs will remain motivated to find a team to take Shumpert.

Shumpert’s camp quickly denied this was the case, saying he had made no such request.

Shumpert once said the Cavs “grabbed me out of hell” by acquiring him from the Knicks. But there’s been an apparent uneasiness in Shumpert from Cleveland’s end.

Even though the 27-year-old Shumpert – due $10,337,079 this season and holding a $11,011,234 player option for the following season – has probably seen his value bottom out, the Cavaliers would probably prefer to move on. They’re in line to pay the repeater luxury tax and also have J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver at shooting guard.

The Timberwolves before and Rockets after last season appeared interested in Shumpert, but I’m not sure any team would just take him at this point. Would Cleveland attach a sweetener to dump him? That might be the only way to grant his trade request and ease the luxury-tax bill. Preserving depth and positive assets might trump those other considerations.

Report: Cavaliers called Warriors about Kyrie Irving-Klay Thompson trade

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The Warriors rejected a Klay ThompsonPaul George trade offer from the Pacers.

What about Thompson for Kyrie Irving, who’s younger than George and locked up for an additional season (the same amount of time as Thompson for a similar price)?

Apparently, Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman inquired before sending Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

It would be hard to believe that Altman could have landed a better trade than the Boston one. He did call the uninterested Warriors about Klay Thompson, a source said.

I’m not sure what this trade would’ve accomplished for either team.

The Warriors obviously already have a point guard in Stephen Curry. Though Irving isn’t the best distributor, his handles and defense push him to point guard. Curry and Irving would have been a tough fit together. Golden State knows Curry and Thompson are a championship-caliber pairing.

Thompson would have been a big upgrade at shooting guard in Cleveland, but the Cavs would have been woefully undermanned at point guard. Derrick Rose, Jose Calderon and Kay Felder wouldn’t cut it. At least the Cavaliers have decent options at shooting guard with J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver.

The Warriors would’ve never said yes, which is fortunate for the Cavs. They did better in their trade with Boston, anyway. Thomas can step in at point guard while Crowder still provides much-needed wing depth – plus Zizic and that sweet, sweet Nets pick.

NBA trade market proves stranger than fiction yet again as Thomas, Irving swap teams

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The two best teams in the Eastern Conference have swapped point guards. With Isaiah Thomas now member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving the starting point guard for the Boston Celtics, the fight for supremacy in the East now much more interesting and more complicated, not only for next season but in the years to come.

Here’s how the trade looks on paper: The Cavaliers received Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s 2018 first round draft pick. The Celtics received Irving.

At first glance, it appears that the Cavaliers came out on top. Yes, there is a question about whether Thomas’ hip will have healed in time next season, but the ability to grab not only Crowder but future first round pick compensation is huge.

If Thomas returns to his Top 5 MVP voting form, you have a deadly combination with the roster already in place for the Cavaliers. Set aside LeBron James for a minute — the ability of the team to mix Thomas with J.R. Smith, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson puts them in a prime position to continue do what they have done for years: dominate.

Meanwhile, adding Crowder to the wing not only gives the Cavaliers a bump in experience when it comes to their depth, but perhaps flexibility this season as well. Rumors have swirled around the team making a move and readjusting their front court, specifically around Love, and Crowder could be the key to that in the future.

From a long-term perspective, that depth gives Cleveland both wing experience and star power to cushion the blow if Lebron does decide to leave in the summer of 2018. The first round pick comes in heavy here, as it would help the Cavaliers rebuild if James is no longer in Ohio.

Did the Celtics give up too much? Perhaps. But not all has tipped in the scales for Cleveland.

Boston was already going to be less reliant on Thomas next season when it came to the offense. Signing Utah Jazz free agent Gordon Hayward was always going to make sure of that. Irving represents a superstar talent that many in the NBA regard as Thomas’ equal, if not his superior. There is no doubt a bit of heightism attached to that, but we will leave that as it is. Neither are particularly reliable on defense, so I have a hard time taking size into account.

There has been some rumors of trepidation on the part of the Celtics organization to pay Thomas’ next big contract due next summer. That seems like it could have played a role here, especially as Irving is signed through 2019, with a player option in the year after that.

Reports have been that Cleveland was previously insistent on getting rookie Jayson Tatum in this deal as well, which the Celtics smartly managed to avoid. With both Avery Bradley and Crowder no longer in Boston, Tatum will now be the backup plan along side Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown.

That is perhaps the biggest sticking point here. Yes, Bradley was also due a big contract next year, so shipping him off to Detroit did make some sense, even if the return was underwhelming. However, that trade was made at a time in which it was clear that Boston was going to keep Crowder. The Celtics didn’t get back a defender in this trade, so they will be relying on their young players to try to bolster that wing defense in his absence. That will proved to be tricky.

Still, this means the Celtics are both younger than they were a year ago while still having some of their star players signed to long-term deals. That could give them the edge over the Cavaliers in the coming seasons, even if LeBron decides to stay in Cleveland. At some point, Danny Ainge needed to bet on his developing players, and he’s all in now.

In a short lens it appears the Cavaliers have been able to move from place of no leverage with Irving’s public trade request to a position of strength. Grabbing wing depth and in All-NBA caliber player is great news, especially if you are taking him from one of your main conference rivals.

But Boston will certainly be a good team for years to come, especially now as they don’t have to consider the ramifications of giving Thomas a big new contract. Adding Hayward to the mix was crucial, but the development of their young players — Smart, Brown, and Tatum — will be a key storyline next season, especially when we reach the playoffs.

The Celtics aren’t complete losers here. They did gain a great player in Irving, and they do have some flexibility. Both Horford and Irving can opt out of their contracts at the end of 2019. If the core is not working as planned, the Celtics will be free to go in a different direction with something like $51.6 million coming off their cap. They still have the Lakers pick for 2018, so giving up the Nets pick to Cleveland doesn’t damage the team in context quite as much.

Above all else, it seems odd that a trade of this magnitude happened between the two best teams in East. This NBA offseason has been a weird one, and if this exact trade was proposed on your Twitter timeline you might have scoffed it off as unrealistic. Yet here we are, with Irving as a Boston Celtic and Thomas potentially set to get a big payday either from the Cavaliers or from another team in a year’s time.