Iman Shumpert has missed the past four games with a left knee injury, and the Cleveland Cavaliers shouldn’t expect him back anytime soon.
The team announced prior to Thursday’s win over the Atlanta Hawks that Shumpert’s injured knee will require surgery:
Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert (left knee effusion) was reevaluated following Tuesday’s game by team physicians Dr. Richard Parker and Dr. James Rosneck. Due to ongoing symptoms, he will undergo arthroscopic surgery Friday morning at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health. His status and timetable will be updated post-surgery.
Officially, the Cavaliers haven’t provided a timetable for his return.
Unofficially, we have ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski
lording over the rumor mill, ready to offer us a timetable:
Six to eight weeks could take the Cavaliers into February without Shumpert—which, at its core, is just fine. The Cavaliers are riding a 10-game win streak, and he’s been his usual hot-and-cold self at both ends of the floor. He still covers some of the toughest defensive assignments, but he’s shooting under 30 percent from beyond the arc, and the Cavaliers are still a net positive with him off the court, according to NBA.com.
That in mind, the Cavaliers are allowing around 103 points per 100 possessions with Shumpert in the lineup, a top-10 mark. That number skyrockets past 109, devolving into a league-worst mark, when he steps off. And on a related note: The Cavaliers coughed up 114 points to the Hawks, who run a bottom-eight offense.
So yes, there exists a scenario in which the Cavaliers end up missing Shumpert. They’ll need Dwyane Wade, J.R. Smith, Jae Crowder, LeBron James and Jeff Green to all boost their stinginess a tick in his absence. And if nothing else, in the event Shumpert’s absence doesn’t ruin the Cavaliers’ recent defensive mojo, it all but ensures they won’t be able to move him and the two years and $21.4 million left on his deal ahead of the trade deadline.