Iman Shumpert active for Cavaliers, expected to make Cleveland debut Friday vs. Hornets

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Iman Shumpert has missed his teams’ last 20 games with a dislocated shoulder, but is set to make his return to the lineup on Friday when the Cavaliers host the Hornets.

Shumpert was acquired from the Knicks as part of the three-team deal that sent Dion Waiters to Oklahoma City, but has been unavailable for the eight games he’s been in Cleveland due to recovering from the injury.

All systems are apparently go, and Shumpert can expect to make his Cavaliers debut against Charlotte.

From Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com:

After recovering from a dislocated left shoulder, guard Iman Shumpert will make his debut as a Cavalier off the bench tonight when they welcome the Charlotte Hornets to The Q. …

Shumpert, 24, is expected to instantly provide defensive toughness and an edge on the perimeter. He was one of their prime targets to improve their point-of-entry defense. His ability to focus primarily on shutting down the opponent’s go-to perimeter scorer should free up LeBron James on the offensive end.

That last part is the dream where Shumpert is concerned, but it remains to see if that will be the reality. His individual defensive numbers with New York this season were dismal, but that could have been a function of his disinterest in playing for a losing team that had made it clear he wasn’t a part of its future.

This is good news for the Cavaliers, however, any way you slice it. We’re past the midway point of the season now, so every game is precious in terms of an opportunity for the team to build some cohesiveness from a chemistry standpoint.

Shumpert has a chance to become a legitimate part of the rotation, and that starts tonight against a Hornets team that is 7-2 in its last nine contests.