The Houston Rockets took part on a three-team trade surrounding former Sacramento Kings forward iman shumpert, giving them another potential three-and-D cog to add to their rotation. The star backcourt duo of Chris Paul and James Harden raved about the move, anxious to add him to the fold.
“I’m excited about it. I’ve been knowing Shump for a while,” said Paul, according to Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic. “You watch a lot of games in this league and Shump got dog. When I say that, hoopers know what that means. He’s scrappy, he get after it. Somebody like that I can play with any day of the week.”
Shumpert and Paul are cut from the same cloth, defensively — two feisty, pestering defenders that aren’t afraid to get a little grease on the elbows or their knees dirty.
Harden has been plenty familiar with sudden additions, ranging from Gary Clark Jr. to Danuel House Jr. to Austin Rivers, now boasting a talent that can contribute at both sides of the ball.
“Shump is a vet who can help us defensively, ball-handling, shooting,” said Harden. “He’s been playing very well this season. Once he gets here and gets a couple of practices in, let’s go.”
Shumpert is often the first to volunteer to take the most grueling defensive assignment, whether that is a bigger forward or a faster point guard zipping around the court. His 3-point shooting has come and gone, but the opportunities will be plenty in Houston, where they have let it fly without conscience since Mike D’Antoni arrived as the head coach.