Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert recently suffered a ruptured Extensor Carpi Ulnaris sheath in his right wrist. The extent of the injury was confirmed by MRI at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health yesterday by Dr. Thomas Graham and Dr. Richard Parker. Shumpert will have surgery to repair his wrist Wednesday at Cleveland Clinic. His return to play is currently projected to be 12 to 14 weeks.
The Cavaliers are fine with LeBron James and J.R. Smith starting on the wing, but depth behind those two leaves something to be desired. Richard Jefferson, Joe Harris and James Jones are the only players with guaranteed salaries. Mo Williams can play shooting guard, though that becomes more difficult if Kyrie Irving is still injured – unless you want to lean heavily on Matthew Dellavedova at point guard.
I thought, given Irving’s injury, point guard Quinn Cook would make Cleveland’s regular-season roster as the 15th player. But this makes it more likely one of the wings vying for that final spot – Austin Daye, Jared Cunningham and D.J. Stephens – earns the nod. Or the Cavaliers could keep Cook and use Williams more at shooting guard. There’s now a lot to juggle.
The playoffs matter more than anything for Cleveland, and Shumpert should be healthy by then. But home-court advantage is nice, and this injury makes that less likely.
If things really get desperate, the Cavaliers always have the Brendan Haywood trade exception to use on reinforcements.