The Houston Rockets have finally made a trade, adding a guard-wing they have coveted for awhile.
Iman Shumpert is headed to Houston after the Rockets made a significant cost-cutting move, including a lottery-protected 2019 first round pick to unload the contracts of Brandon Knight and Marquese Chriss.
Knight, Chriss and the first rounder are headed to Cleveland. The Cavs send Alec Burks and a second round pick to the Kings and the Kings send Shumpert to Houston. The Cavs also send Nik Staukas and Wade Baldwin to the Rockets (both expiring contracts). The Cavs made the move strictly for the draft pick, absorbing salary to do it.
The Rockets? They save a bundle here. Shumpert ($11 million) is an expiring contract, as are the salaries of Staukas ($1.6M) and Baldwin ($1.5M). They unloaded Knight ($14.6M) and Chriss ($3.2M), not to mention the $15.6M that Knight is owed next season. Financially, it’s a coup… but it costs them a valuable asset in the first rounder.
The Shumpert trade will save the #Rockets about $7.7M this season (most of that in luxury tax savings) and potentially a TON of money in 2019-20. Here's hoping he moves the needle for this team. I'm skeptical.
— David Weiner (@BimaThug) February 7, 2019
On the other hand, the Rockets add a guy they’ve been interested in for awhile. They were rumored to have interest in Shumpert at the 2017 trade deadline.
The 6-foot-5 Shumpert has been starting for the Kings virtually all season, averaging 8.9 points and shooting 36.6% from three-point range. The 28-year old has a reputation as a good defender.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni drafted Shumpert with the 17th pick in 2011 when he was coach of the New York Knicks.
“He has the athletic ability to guard a Derrick Rose or a Dwyane Wade or a LeBron James,” said D’Antoni at the time.