Report: Cleveland in “serious discussions” to trade Iman Shumpert to Houston

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Cleveland needs to find a way to beat the Golden State Warriors, and the problem is there is not one move alone — not even landing Paul George (which obviously isn’t happening now) — which would vault them to that level. Cleveland has to get more athletic and versatile. Right now they have some nice role players that help against 28 other teams, but get exposed by the Warriors.

Iman Shumpert is near the top of that list. He’s never been an efficient scorer — his true shooting percentage of 53.6 last season was by far the best of his career, but it’s just above league average — and in the Finals he was virtually unplayable, shooting 23.5 percent. Shumpert shot 36 percent from three last season but struggled in the Finals shooting 22 percent. The defense for which he once was known has slipped in recent years — he’s solid on the ball but his help rotations/team defense is weak, and the Warriors exposed that.

Cleveland has decided to move on and is close to a trade with the Rockets, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are engaged in serious discussions on a deal to send guard Iman Shumpert to the Houston Rockets, according to league sources.

Shumpert would be moved to the Rockets for primarily a package of non-guaranteed contracts, which would allow Cleveland to create financial flexibility to pursue other roster upgrades. Shumpert has two years and $21.3 million left on his contract.

For Cleveland, this would give them the money to re-sign Kyle Korver and go after other players (otherwise they are capped out). This is the kind of move they have to make.

For the Rockets, they get a guy who played for Mike D’Antoni in New York, who likes that system, who can hit threes, and his individual defense would be an upgrade for them off the bench. Put simply, Houston gets some depth. While he may be paid more than he would get on the open market now, he ‘s not outrageously expensive, and the Rockets stockpile non-guaranteed deals just for moves like this.

 

Colorado junior forward Tyler Bey declares for NBA Draft

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University of Colorado forward Tyler Bey has declared for the 2020 NBA Draft:

The junior averaged 13.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Buffaloes. Bey shot 53% from the field overall and 74.3% at the free throw line.

Bey also extended his range a bit in his third year at Colorado. He knocked down 13-of-31 three-pointers (41.9%) on the season. At just six-foot-seven, he’ll need to be able to score from behind the arc to find a place in the NBA.

Most draft analysts have Bey pegged as an early second-round pick. Some thought he could play his way into the back-end of the first-round with strong pre-draft workouts. With the pre-draft process up in the air, NBA front offices may have to make their decisions based on what they’ve already seen in person and on tape.

Stephon Marbury has arrangement to procure 10 million medical masks for New York

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Former NBA player Stephon Marbury told The New York Post that he’s arranged a deal to deliver 10 million N95 medical masks to New York. These masks are much-needed among healthcare workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marbury is having the masks produced at cost in China, where he played the last seven years of his career.

Although Marbury currently lives in Beijing, China, he said “At the end of the day, I am from Brooklyn. This is something that is close and dear to my heart as far as being able to help New York.”

While growing up, Marbury starred at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn and on New York City’s famed playgrounds. After one year at Georgia Tech, Marbury left for the NBA. The high-scoring guard played for five teams during his 13-year NBA career, including his hometown New York Knicks.

After sitting out for two seasons, Marbury signed to play for the Beijing Ducks in 2011. The move was initially seen as a way for Marbury to prove he could still play at an NBA level. Instead, Beijing became home-away-from home for the New Yorker.

Marbury averaged 21.6 points per game in 271 contests spread over seven seasons with the Ducks.

Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung declares for 2020 NBA Draft

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Georgetown sophomore Mac McClung told ESPN Jonathan Givony that he’s declaring for the 2020 NBA Draft.

McClung first came to national prominence when his high school highlights blew up on YouTube:

In his second season at Georgetown, McClung averaged 15.7 points and 1.4 steals per game. A foot injury in late-January kept McClung out of the lineup for nearly a month. He returned for one game in late-February, but played just eight minutes off the Hoyas’ bench.

The six-foot-two guard is known for his deep shooting range and his highlight dunks. McClung’s shot is inconsistent however, as he shot under 40% in each of his first two seasons at Georgetown. McClung’s defense also needs work.

McClung projects to be a point guard in the NBA, due to his size. To make it as a lead guard, he’ll need to work on his ballhandling and playmaking. With those question marks, McClung is seen as a stretch to be drafted in the second round.

McClung stated he’s signing with an NBA/NCAA approved agent. That will allow him to keep his college eligibility as he goes through the pre-draft process.

Report: NBA Together asks players who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma

Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert
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Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that the NBA Together initiative is asking NBA players who have recovered from coronavirus to consider donating plasma:

NBA Together was created in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, as the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season.

One of the efforts NBA Together is supporting is the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. This project has brought together top medical specialists to determine if plasma donations could help in treating coronavirus.

Several NBA players have tested positive for COVID-19. This group includes Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons. All players reported either feeling no symptoms or have recovered from the affliction.