Worst Starter No. 9 – Iman Shumpert
We mentioned earlier that the Cleveland Cavaliers made two big trades during the 2014-15 NBA season. One deal was to add size in the middle with Timofey Mozgov, and the other brought in a pair of 3-and-D players on the wing in J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert.
“Shump” had been a starter for most of his first four seasons in New York, but he become a bench wing upon arriving in Cleveland. That was a good role for him; he wasn’t shooting the doors off with the Cavs, but he played excellent defense and was often tasked with defending Stephen Curry when the teams met in the NBA Finals.
43 times, however, the Cavs elevated Shumpert into the starting lineup. Those games did not go so well, as Shumpert shot just 33 percent from deep and 38.6 percent from the field, with 48 turnovers to just 67 assists. Playing on a team that won most of its games, he was +25 in those 43 appearances, or essentially just better than break-even.
He wasn’t a disaster as a starter, as his defense was still there, but he clearly was best deployed as a reserve player to hit shots created by others and play defense. When asked to do more there wasn’t more than missed shots to give.