Cavaliers Acquire Sharp-Shooting Kyle Korver
On Thursday evening the Cleveland Cavaliers struck gold yet again, this time by acquiring the sharp-shooting two-guard and 14-year NBA veteran Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks in a trade that should be made official today.
“There’s definitely mixed emotions,” Said an emotional Korver after a 99-94 Hawks win over the New Orleans Pelicans. “There’s a lot of hard ties to Atlanta, for a lot of reasons. A lot of friendships, relationships. It’s where I had my best basketball years, honestly. It’s where I had all my kids. It’s hard to leave that behind.
“Obviously it’s a great opportunity for me to go to Cleveland. So I’m very excited about that part of it. But there’s a lot of relationships that I care about here that I’m gonna miss.
“From a basketball perspective, [Cleveland is] a great, great fit for me. And I know that.”
The former All-Star hit the nail on the head – the Cavs really are the perfect fit for his skill-set. Korver, who is earning $5.2-million in the final year of his contract, is averaging 9.5-points per game on the season on 40.9% shooting from deep. Korver is also shooting 49% on open three-pointers this year and with LeBron James facilitating the basketball, Korver will be receiving more open threes than ever.
With J.R. Smith out for the next few months with a hand injury and Kyrie Irving missing the past three games, the Cavs went out looking for some guard depth and they got the guy they were looking for in Korver. The Cavs are now fully loaded with their very own ‘Big 3’ and a bunch of marksmen shooters all around them, whether it is Channing Frye, Korver, Jordan McRae, or even Smith once he returns.
Reports suggest that the Cavs will send Mo Williams, Mike Dunleavy, and a protected 2019 first-round pick for Korver. Both the Hawks and Cavaliers are still in discussion about finding a third team that can take on Dunleavy.
In a separate deal, the Cavaliers have agree to send their 2017 first-round pick to the Portland Trailblazers in return for their original 2018 first-round pick. This would allow the Cavs to use their 2019 pick to make the deal with Atlanta work under league rules. As per the Stepien Rule, teams are prohibited from trading first-round picks in consecutive seasons.
Credit David Griffin, the Cavaliers general manager, for going out each season and getting the pieces that LeBron James needs to win. Of course having James covers a lot of a team’s weaknesses, but Griffin has went out and made the right moves to bring in the right pieces to place around his superstar, proving to be one of the best GM’s in basketball.
After signing James in the summer of 2014, Griffin made the gutsy move of trading away the highly touted first overall pick, Andrew Wiggins, acquiring All-Star Kevin Love who is finally starting to look like the guy he was with Minnesota. Griffin wouldn’t stop there, acquiring size in Timofey Mozgov, as well as stealing J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a separate three-team trade.
The following year, Griffin brought in seasoned veteran Richard Jefferson and acquired Frye, both of whom became key contributors on the Cavaliers 2016 championship-winning team. Thus far this year, Griffin kept making moves. DeAndre Liggins, a two-time D-League defensive player of the year winner, has greatly improved the Cavaliers defence and now they have another shooting weapon in Korver.
Major kudos to Griffin – the unsung hero in the Cavaliers rise to championship glory. He has made the Cavs look scary good as they look to be all set in defending their NBA championship crown.