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The New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors are among the teams with an interest in Iman Shumpert, league sources told Amico Hoops on Saturday.
Basketball Insiders first reported on the Pelicans’ interest in the Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard. New Orleans’ interest, in particular, appears to be strong.
After the trade of Kyrie Irving to Boston last week, the Cavs are looking to put the finishing touches on their training camp roster. Camp is slated to begin at the end of the month.
The Cavs have explored the idea of trading Shumpert most of the summer, and appear more determined than ever to move him. According to sources, the Cavs like Shumpert, but not necessarily his contract (two years, about $21 million remaining). And following the acquisition of Jae Crowder in the Irving trade, Shumpert could get lost in the Cavs’ sudden glut of wings.
The good news for interested teams is the Cavs may be willing to part with a draft pick in a deal involving Shumpert — and if they didn’t, would not be seeking a large return for just Shumpert alone.
Meanwhile, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said the team is on the lookout for forwards and swingmen after starting small forward Solomon Hill injured his hamstring while working out in Los Angeles. The injury required surgery and Hill is expected to miss six to eight months.
“I think we’ve got some players who can fill in, but we’ve really got to go out and find another guy with a little bit of versatility, who can play some (power forward) or maybe even some (shooting guard) for us,” Gentry said. “Right now we’ve got to decide if we’re going to add a guy and how we can do that.”
Free agent forwards Josh Smith, Chase Budinger and Martell Webster are among those who have already worked out for the Pelicans. They also reportedly have shown interest in free agent swingman Shabazz Muhammad.
Jrue Holiday, Rajon Rondo and E’Twaun Moore are the top guards on the Pelicans’ roster, and a player such as Shumpert could add the type of versatility Gentry spoke of.
With power forward Anthony Davis and center DeMarcus Cousins as the centerpieces, the Pelicans don’t necessarily need another volume shooter or big scorer. (Neither Davis nor Cousins will be made available in trade talks, sources said.)
The Kings are also said to be thinking about adding another veteran to an exciting young cast that already includes second-year guard Buddy Hield, and first-round draft picks De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson and Harry Giles.
Kings big man Kosta Koufous recently had his name attached to several trade discussions, and is a product of Canton, Ohio, near Cleveland.
As for the Raptors, they too are seeking veteran depth in the backcourt behind All-Star starters Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan.
Shumpert, 27, averaged 7.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 76 games last season. The Cavs came close to trading him to the Houston Rockets in July, but the deal fell apart at the last minute.
It is not known if the Cavs have plans to talk to any of the aforementioned teams about Shumpert.