Iman Shumpert.

Iman Shumpert says Kyrie Irving's trade request didn't come as a surprise

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Kyrie Irving's trade request to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer may have shocked the NBA world but it didn't come as a surprise to his teammates.

That's according to Iman Shumpert who claims that internally, the players knew what was going on and were well aware of Irving's intentions.

The point guard recently secured a trade to the Boston Celtics which saw the Cavs receive Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick via the Miami Heat in return.

There were many reports doing the rounds about why Kyrie wanted to leave Cleveland, with many focusing on an apparent breakdown in his relationship with LeBron James.

The 25-year-old was reportedly unwilling to play with the King any longer and wanted to be the focal point of a franchise.

In his introductory press conference with the Celtics, the four-time All-Star stated that his move was motivated by his desire to "maximise his potential".

In an interview with Complex, Shumpert admitted that as a team, the Cavaliers discussed it and knew the situation but were slightly surprised at how it played out.

Atlanta Hawks v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Three

"We all knew certain things about this team that's tough," he said. "I didn't expect it to happen how it happened. I didn't expect it to be a big thing. It was like a dragged out thing. I don't know how it was leaked on who's side, or whatever happened.

"I know as a team. As a whole. When we talked about it. When I talked to Kyrie about it. Just wish that it was more controlled in a sense that the fans didn't have to have weird quotes and is this true is that true and all this s--- coming out. We wished that it could have been, this trade happened. Boom. That’s it."

The shooting guard also shared his thoughts on why 'Uncle Drew' decided to take his talents elsewhere and whether his relationship with LeBron had an impact on his decision.

“I don’t think it’s f*** LeBron,” Shumpert said, referring to Irving’s trade request. “I think it’s more of, ‘I learned, we won together, it’s time for something different.'

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Five

“(People say) it’s LeBron and Kyrie hate each other. 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…"

Shump has gone some way to clearing things up, but up until this point, the only person we haven't heard from on the matter is King James.

Maybe he's waiting to do his talking on the court when he comes face to face with his former teammate on the opening night of the new season at Quicken Loans Arena in four weeks' time.

Eastern Conference
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Kyrie Irving
Iman Shumpert
LeBron James

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