Doc Rivers filled a major hole on the Clippers, signing Paul Pierce.
Rivers, of course, coached Pierce with the Celtics. That didn’t make the signing any better, but it probably helped lure Pierce to Los Angeles (as did L.A. being Pierce’s native city).
Likewise, this wouldn’t be a good signing because Rivers coached Kendrick Perkins. This wouldn’t be a good signing at all.
Arash Markazi of ESPN:
Why stop at Perkins?
Kevin Garnett (who has yet to sign anything officially), Rajon Rondo (who’s talking with the Kings) and Ray Allen are also free agents. Get the whole band back together.
At least a few of those players – all but Perkins – would actually help the Clippers.
Perkins, 30, has struggled the last few years and has declined even within that span. He might have intangible and leadership value.
But the Clippers just lost a playoff series because their short bench caused them to ran out of gas. They still have major depth questions, and that’s the optimistic spin. They can’t afford to use a roster spot on Perkins, who’s so limited on the court.
Kevin Love? Back.
Tristan Thompson? Back.
Iman Shumpert? After a little threatening, back.
Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders:
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Cleveland needed someone like Shumpert. He’s the only strong wing defender on the roster. LeBron James isn’t interested in that role over a full season anymore.
But at that price, I would have let him seek an offer sheet and then matched. That could have backfired if Shumpert signs a bigger deal elsewhere or accepted the qualifying offer, but I think it was worth the risk.
Anyway, it’s only money. Shumpert won’t limit the Cavaliers’ flexibility. They’ll be far above the luxury-tax line regardless. As long as Dan Gilbert is willing to spend – and he clearly is – there’s no drawback to this signing.
The upside is clear: Cleveland is in even strong position to contend for championships the next few years.
Most likely, this is a negotiating tactic. The smart money is on Iman Shumpert pulling on the wine and gold of the Cleveland Cavaliers when next season starts.
But the door is open to other teams.
Shumpert started talking with the Cavaliers, and that hasn’t gone where he wanted, so the unrestricted free agent is going to start listening to other offers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.
The Cavaliers have had a strong off-season so far, keeping Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson in new deals.
Shumpert looked more comfortable as a defense-first player off the bench for the Cavaliers then he did asked to do more for the Knicks. He’s not going to provide much on the offensive end — he scored 9.3 points per game but shot just 40.9 percent for the Knicks, before Phil Jackson shipped him to Cleveland.
That said, a number of teams could use what he brings — good wing defenders are valuable. Plenty of other teams will be willing to talk.
In the end, most likely the Cavs would match or beat any offer. But Shumpert is going to try and use that leverage.