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Iman Shumpert to return to Rockets vs. Sixers

Iman Shumpert, Rockets

Houston Rockets guard Iman Shumpert will return to the lineup for Friday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers, per Jonathane Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

The Rockets acquired Shumpert from the Sacramento Kings as part of a wild three-team trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Kings acquired Alec Burks, a 2020 second round draft pick, while the Cavs got Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss and multiple draft picks. Through the complicated machinations of this deal, the Rockets also received Wade Baldwing and Nik Stauskas, who were both waived.

Shumpert returning to the lineup tonight is a boon for the Rockets, as he had been day-to-day with right calf soreness for the team’s previous game against the Phoenix Suns.

Houston could definitely use another live-wire defender and spot-up shooter on a team with a James Harden/Chris Paul offensive engine. It also helps that Shumpert was a clear leader for Sacramento before he was traded and replaced by Harrison Barnes.

Iman Shumpert was having one of the best seasons of his career in Sacramento before the trade. He was putting up 8.9 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 36.6 percent from deep on a career-high 4.8 attempts per game.

If his defense can return to the stifling form he showed in limited playoff action with the Cavs, the Rockets will have another important depth piece going forward.