The Cleveland Cavaliers have announced that guard Iman Shumpert has suffered a ruptured Extensor Carpi Ulnaris sheath in his right wrist and will undergo surgery on Wednesday. The timetable for his recovery has been set at 12-14 weeks.
As tough as it was for me to type the name of that injury, it's even tougher news for Shumpert, who's been snakebitten by injuries throughout his career.
In the short term, the Cavaliers rotation at the guard spots is looking mighty thin. Kyrie Irving is doubtful for the start of the season, so Mo Williams, J.R. Smith and Matthew Dellavedova is all that remains for the beginning of the regular season. I'd imagine we'll see a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your perspective) amount of Matthew Dellavedova at the backup PG and SG spots.
In addition, Shumpert's injury limits the Cavaliers ability to play small ball, as LeBron will mostly be stuck at the three without the luxury to shift one of the guards up to the three spot without burning them out. This will be much easier once Kyrie Irving returns to action, moving Williams to a pure backup point guard role and allowing Delly to handle more minutes at the backup two. Perhaps Joe Harris has developed enough to contribute spot minutes in the mean time, but we haven't really seen much to indicate that is the case.
It's easy to be disappointed, but on the whole, this should be a bump in the road. Even if the Cavaliers have a bumpy start while they get healthy, the long-term health of the team is fine. The Death Star Cavaliers should be fully functional, and they'll be blowing up
planets defenses soon enough.