Rumors and speculations are now swirling around the Minnesota Timberwolves who are reportedly having trade talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Sacramento Kings involving Ricky Rubio, Iman Shumpert, and Darren Collison.
According to Zach Lowe of ESPN, several NBA teams have expressed their interest to Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert, including the Minnesota Timberwolves.
“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,” Lowe revealed in his article.
The Timberwolves have succeeded to build a young roster with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns at the center. However, they still need a veteran presence on their team in order to be a legitimate playoff contender.
The Cavaliers just lost two of their backup point guards this summer where Matthew Dellavedova left after receiving a higher offer from the Milwaukee Buck and Mo Williams retired. As of now, Kay Felder is tasked to be the primary backup PG for Kyrie Irving. At some point, it is quite risky for a defending champion to commit the position to a rookie.
Of all three points guards in Minnesota, only Ricky Rubio makes sense for the Cavaliers since Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones still need to gain experience. However, his annual salary is higher than Shumpert, which will bury the Cavaliers in the luxury tax hell.
Dan Feldman of NBC Sports suggested a three-way trade between the Kings, Cavaliers, and the Timberwolves. The Kings have long been rumored to be interested in Ricky Rubio after Rajon Rondo left in free agency.
“A team trades for Rubio, displacing its current point guard, who goes to the Cavs in a three-way trade. With the Kings a known Rubio suitor, Darren Collison could fit in Cleveland – at least after his eight-game suspension. Similar iterations could work with other teams that have a decent point guard but want to upgrade to Rubio,” Feldman wrote.
In the suggested trade scenario, the three-team trade would send Iman Shumpert to Minnesota, Darren Collison to Cleveland, and Ricky Rubio to Sacramento. With the return of J.R. Smith in Cleveland, Shumpert is expected to come off the bench. Though Collison is set to miss eight regular season games, there is no doubt that he can be useful in the postseason.
Photo courtesy: @imanshumpert/Instagram