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.
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.
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.