Few Cavs players acquitted themselves as well as Iman Shumpert did during the NBA playoffs. He worked his tail off defensively and played through a bum shoulder, didn't complain once, and logged huge minutes. Klay Thompson was a non-factor for most of the NBA Finals, and Shump's finger prints were all over it. At the beginning of free agency, the Cavs locked him up for four years at $40 million. They were wise to do so.
And yet, Shumpert also put together a sub 50 true shooting rate through the playoffs, a Player Efficiency Rating under 11, and has never used more than 18.2% of his team's possessions while on the floor. He's been a below average three point shooter for his career. Offensively, he simply hasn't been good. He doesn't shoot well enough to earn the 3 and D moniker, and he hasn't consistently shown the ability to create for himself.
Here's the thing, though. For the Cleveland Cavaliers, it should be okay. When you have Kyrie Irving as your starting point guard, and have a power forward like Kevin Love who can stretch the floor, you can overcompensate defensively at shooting guard. In fact, you probably want to. And if you get a reasonable approximation of the defender Shumpert was in the playoffs, that's enough to justify the money he got in his deal. Does Shumpert know his role?
Iman Shumpert says his focus over the summer was on his ball handling and footwork. Plans to be more creative off the dribble.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 28, 2015
In the Finals, when LeBron James was down both Irving and Love, some offense from Shumpert would have been fantastic. He couldn't do it. Perhaps the work he did this summer leads to a jump in production. It's not without precedent, but at 25 years old, Shumpert would certainly be an outlier. In all likelihood, this is just media day bluster or me reading too much into a small amount of words or both. In the meantime, the Cavs should be maximizing James, Irving, and Love's offense.