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

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Iman Shumpert #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on in the first half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2016 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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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.