The Brooklyn Nets have waived guard Iman Shumpert to comply with the NBA's restraint of rostering 15 players ahead of forward Wilson Chandler's return to the team. Chandler's 25-game suspension for PED usage ends on Sunday.
Now off of a team, Shumpert still desires to play.
Shumpert has averaged 4.2 points in 18.2 minutes per game for the Nets this season. The 6-foot-5 wing can still play at an NBA level. The Nets only released him out of necessity from their guaranteed contracts limiting roster spots.
Given his release, teams will get the opportunity to put in a waiver claim for his services. Should the Blazers?
I think yes.
In wake of letting Aminu walk, trading Harkless, Zach Collins' dislocated shoulder and Rodney Hood’s season-ending Achilles injury, the Blazers wing rotation needs upgrading. That much is clear if the Blazers want to remain competitive in the Western Conference until Collins and Nurkic return. With Hood’s injury, Hezonja has been reinserted into the rotation, and I believe Shumpert would be an upgrade over him.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks said the Blazers are an option to claim Shumpert but the acquisition would increase Jody Allen’s tax bill.
The Iman Shumpert non-guaranteed contract has appeal for teams to claim but here is the problem:— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) December 12, 2019
8 teams with open roster spots
* GSW and MIA- hard capped
* HOU, POR, OKC, DEN and CLE- tax team if they keep him
* ORL- the lone team without a restriction
However, given the open roster spot and the non-guarantee on Shumpert’s deal, the Blazers could add Shumpert without hurting any future roster flexibility until Shumpert’s deal becomes guaranteed the first week of January.
Yes, his shooting splits have been bad: 32.4 percent overall, 24.2 percent from beyond the arc and 57.1 percent from the free throw line, but he’s a low risk solution to replacing Hezonja’s minutes with a more capable player. Hezonja's shooting splits are slightly better at 36.1 percent overall, 32.3 percent from beyond the arc and 81.2 percent from the free throw line. So if Shumpert proves to be worse than Hezonja, then the Blazers can cut him before his deal guarantees in January.
Why not sign up for Shumpert’s free trial?