We may be only a couple of days into the 2016-17 regular season, but NBA trade rumors on some intriguing young talent are already floating around the web.
Fresh off their first NBA championship in franchise history, the Cleveland Cavaliers may not be satisfied with the makeup of their roster, as wings Iman Shumpert and Jordan McRae have been attached to trade rumors.
Further north, the Minnesota Timberwolves have an abundance of young guards and could be willing to move Tyus Jones for the right price.
These stories are in their formative phases, but as we’ve learned over the years, smoke often leads to fire.
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Timberwolves Interested in Shumpert
New Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau has put wing defenders to good use throughout his coaching career. And it looks like he may have his eye on Shumpert as a possible stopper.
According to ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe, the Cavs may be willing to entertain potential deals:
Keep an eye on Iman Shumpert. Several teams, including Minnesota, have inquired about his availability in the past few weeks and gotten the impression Cleveland is ready to talk, according to several league sources. The Cavs won’t salary-dump Shump for nothing, but given their tax situation, cutting payroll by a few million promises exponential savings.
Shumpert has yet to have a season with a negative defensive box plus/minus, according to Basketball-Reference.com, and he has a year with 40-plus percent three-point shooting to his name.
If Minnesota had a defense-first wing like that to play alongside Andrew Wiggins, the latter would no longer have to defend the opposition’s best perimeter player, giving him more energy to devote to the other end.
Speaking of the T-Wolves, with Ricky Rubio and Kris Dunn comfortably ahead of him on the depth chart, it looks like Jones may be available.
Jones appeared in only 37 games for Minnesota last season, and he struggled, shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from three-point range.
His pedigree is still intriguing, though. Jones’ Scout.com profile shows how highly recruited he was before heading to Duke, where he won a national title in his lone year in college.
He would likely get a chance to show more in Philadelphia, where adding experience is generally more important than adding wins.
Cavaliers Trying to Unload McRae
Shumpert isn’t the only wing Cleveland could move. The team is reportedly looking to trade Mo Williams, and according to ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst, McRae could be the key:
Needing both a roster spot and a backup point guard, the Cavs are in a squeeze as the regular season opener looms. They are looking to attach guard Jordan McRae to Williams in trades, sources said. The team openly showcased McRae during the preseason and he led the team in scoring at 14 points a game.
If the Cavs waive Williams now to create a roster spot, Williams would receive his full salary and the Cavs would have to pay the full tax amount. Currently, the Cavs are projected to have a $32 million tax bill.
McRae showed a lot of scoring ability in the summer league as well, but his buckets came at the expense of efficiency.