One of the major stories of the NBA offseason was the blockbuster trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics and Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Little by little, more information has come out which has provided the public with some clarity.
However, Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert recently revealed a new aspect regarding the trade, which gave an inside look at how the Cavaliers handled hearing the news.
"I don't know how it was leaked, on whose side or whatever," Shumpert told Complex News’ “Everyday Struggle” in an explicit interview. "We wished it could've been 'this trade happened. Boom, that's it.”
Not only was the trade request made very public, but the list of potential suitors dominated NBA talk for a number of weeks before the Celtics gave the Cavs an offer they couldn’t refuse. Therefore, Shumpert verified what was assumed - that the process was tough to deal with.
He also revealed the surprising state of mind that he and his teammates had when hearing about Irving’s desire to leave Cleveland.
“We all knew certain things about this team that's tough,” he revealed, per Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon, likely meaning that the entire Cavaliers team wasn’t surprised when the news broke.
Contrary to numerous rumors that plagued the situation as it was developing, Shumpert claimed that there was no hostility between Irving and LeBron James. Instead, it was simply a case of Irving wanting a fresh start as the face of another franchise.
"(People say) it's LeBron and Kyrie hate each other," Shumpert said. "No, it's two dudes that need the ball. LeBron needs the ball, Kyrie needs the ball, Kevin (Love) needs the ball. Swish (J.R. Smith) can't shoot unless he has the ball. Kyle Korver can't shoot unless he has the ball.”
It was all about a change of scenery and not necessarily because of an overwhelming amount of negativity with the Cavs, he explained.
"I don't think it's (forget) LeBron," Shumpert said about Irving’s mindset when making the trade request. "I think it's more of, 'I learned, we won together, it's time for something different.’"
Shumpert has also found himself the subject of trade rumblings this offseason. Since Crowder and free agent signing Jeff Green will likely see major minutes, Richard Jefferson will probably eat up some time and Thomas, J.R. Smith and the newly-signed Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon should be a factor, Shumpert’s role off the bench might simply not be there in the upcoming season.
Last year, Shump played 25.5 minutes per game during the regular season, scoring 7.5 points and 2.9 rebounds. In the playoff run, he played just 16.2 minutes per game, scoring 4.4 points with 2.8 boards. While his defensive abilities certainly provided value, it might be smart for Cleveland to offload his roughly $10.3 million salary for the upcoming season and the approximately $11 million he’s due next year if he accepts his player option.