Cavs guard Shumpert needs wrist surgery, out 3 months
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) The Cavaliers didn't get through one day without another significant injury.
With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love still recovering from injuries that severely hurt Cleveland's chances at an NBA title last season, the team announced Tuesday that guard Iman Shumpert needs surgery on his right wrist and will be out at least three months.
Cavs general manager David Griffin said on the opening day of training camp that Shumpert, who made 16 postseason starts, injured his wrist when he hit it on a rim last week during a workout. Shumpert underwent an MRI which revealed a ruptured sheath protecting a ligament in his wrist.
The team said Shumpert will have the operation Wednesday and that he could need as long as 14 weeks to recover, which would be early January.
Shumpert's injury is an early setback to the Cavs, who made the finals despite losing Love to a dislocated shoulder in the first round against Boston and Irving fracturing a kneecap in Game 1 against Golden State. Both players will be limited in the preseason and there is no clear timetable on when they'll be available.
''Obviously it's a big blow. Injuries will probably be the only thing than can stop us long-term,'' LeBron James said following the team's first training camp practice. ''This is a short-term thing. He will be there when we most need him.''
Meanwhile, the Cavs practiced without power forward Tristan Thompson, who remains in a contract stalemate with the club. Thompson, who showed his value in the postseason while filling in for Love, is seeking a maximum contract worth over $17 million per season. There is a Thursday deadline for him to sign a one-year, $6.9 million qualifying offer but that will likely be extended if a deal isn't finalized.
For the second straight day, James, who shares the same agent as Thompson, believes the sides will reach a long-term agreement.
As for losing Shumpert, Griffin said the Cavs have enough depth to offset the injury. Cleveland signed free agent guard Mo Williams and swingman Richard Jefferson in the offseason, and re-signed guards J.R. Smith and Matthew Dellavedova, who emerged as a postseason hero when Irving went down.
''We look at this as a very similar situation to what we went through in the playoffs last year - next man up,'' said Griffin, who has no immediate plans to look outside Cleveland's roster for help.
James, too, feels the Cavs are better equipped to handle injuries this season.
''If there's one place we have depth it's at the guard spot,'' he said. ''With this injury, our guys should be able to step in.''
The Cavs acquired Shumpert and Smith in a trade last season from the New York Knicks. Shumpert battled shoulder and groin injuries, but the 25-year-old was a key contributor as Cleveland on the Eastern Conference title and made it to the finals for the second time.
One of the team's best defensive players, he averaged 9.1 points in the playoffs and 7.2 points in 38 regular-season games for Cleveland.