After a rookie campaign that saw him average 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.7 steals, expectations were that then-New York Knicks guard Iman Shumpert could develop into a one of the better two-way role players in the league.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened for the former Georgia Tech guard as he hasn’t really improved or evolved his game since his 2011-12 rookie season.
Credit to Shumpert, he’s been able to stay in the in the league for over eight seasons. He’s a good perimeter defender and when he gets hot, he can score on just about anyone. The problem with that is, Shumpert tends to throw up a lot of shots and most of the time, he isn’t very efficient in doing so.
With Kyrie Irving missing the last few games for the Nets, a veteran like Shumpert must step up. However, the 29-year-old is shooting a horrid 33.3 percent from the field and 24.1 percent from deep in 18.6 minutes per game.
In the meantime, fellow guards Spencer Dinwiddie and Garrett Temple have stepped their games up in Irving’s absence and have kept the team afloat whereas Shumpert seems to do more bad than good.
I’m not sure how much value Shumpert would fetch in a trade but it seems like the Nets — especially when Irving returns — are more than set with their guard rotation.
Temple scored 22 points against Boston on November 29 and Dinwiddie has been on an absolute tear for the team as of late. The two are more than capable of playing heavier minutes with Irving gone.
If the Nets were to move Shumpert before the deadline, it could also free up some minutes for journeyman David Nwaba who, despite only playing 11.8 minutes for the Nets, has been incredibly efficient and effective in those minutes.
Nwaba is averaging just 3.4 points per game but is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field and over 45 percent from three. Nwaba has scored in double digits in two of his last three games and would benefit from getting a little more playing time.
Shumpert is an NBA-caliber player. He has never in his career been an efficient scorer but teams know that. Someone will need someone with Shumpert’s defense and microwave scoring ability but with the guards currently on the Nets’ roster, Shumpert just seems like the odd man out.
The 6-foot-5 guard hasn’t shot above 38 percent for a season since 2016-17 but he can still provide a spark off the bench as an energy player for a team that could use more of a veteran presence.