As last year's NBA playoffs wore on, Cleveland Cavaliers fans saw less and less of backup guard Iman Shumpert, culminating with him getting very little court time against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
Then, over the summer, Shumpert's name was mentioned in several trade rumors, which only served to add to his confusion.
Entering the 2017-18 season, it's understandable that Shumpert would want to clarify his role with the team for the upcoming campaign.
So, according to ESPN.com, that's exactly what he did, meeting with coach Tyronn Lue to talk about everything that happened last year and clear the air:
"It was just that time for me to have a, just a grown-up conversation with him and just let him know, 'Can we just sort of knock down the coach-player thing right now and can I just sort of talk to you personally about how I feel about how everything finished up last year?'" Shumpert said after practice Tuesday.
Apparently, the meeting went well, because Shumpert seems to be happy with the Cavs as this year's preseason gets underway.
Shumpert said the meeting with Lue was very productive and Lue left the door open for any future meetings Shumpert may feel are necessary:
"He gave me the chance to be honest," Shumpert said, "and he let me know that if at any time during the year I just want to come in the office and sit down with him and kick everybody out, he said if I just want to yell and be crazy, I can do that, so that definitely made me feel a lot better."
That may indeed be necessary, as Shumpert's role with the team for the coming year is uncertain. In addition to having Jae Crowder as LeBron James's backup, the Cavs have a loaded guard rotation, with Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Isaiah Thomas and J.R. Smith all figuring to get plenty of minutes this year.
However, Shumpert thinks that the depth the Cavs have gives them an advantage over other teams, adding that Lue should keep a deep rotation going into the playoffs:
"It's such an advantage for us, and I don't think anybody will be running out of energy in the middle of the game anymore," he said. "That was another concern we had, just gassing our main guys early on in the Finals, and this should be able to preserve bodies better with this team."
What Shumpert's role will be this season remains to be seen, but the Cavaliers would be wise to get the talented guard plenty of action throughout the year.