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Korver has been one of the best three-point shooters in the league for his career and has shot nearly 43% from long range. He was a key part of the 2014-2015 Hawks team that won 60 games, but has struggled over the past couple of years as teams have learned to defend their system and focus in on Korver. This move is great for him as he will no longer be expected to be a number two or even number three option in the offense. Instead, he will simply stand in the corner and wait for the ball to do what he does best. Like Ray Allen or Shane Battier on LeBron James‘ Miami Heat teams.
For the time being, Korver will take over the JR Smith role on offense. It’s not known if this move was made out of necessity because Smith’s injury was more serious than previously thought or if this was just made to upgrade the team and win another championship. The Cavs were linked to Korver last season as well. If and when Smith does come back, the Cavaliers will always have a deadly three point shooter on the floor surrounding LeBron, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving for 48 minutes per game. Frightening.
The Cavs will send Mike Dunleavy Jr. to the Hawks as well as a 2019 first round pick for Korver. Atlanta would like to move Dunleavy immediately, but this deal will go through as it stands if they don’t find another team. Atlanta is looking to gain whatever assets they can for their veterans and rebuild what they can. Paul Millsap, a pending free agent, is said to be next on the trading block and he should draw a lot of interest despite his expiring contract. The Raptors are the most intriguing team he has been linked to, but it’s hard to say if he would be enough to challenge this Cavs team in the East.
Millsap, the ultimate pro, when asked about a potential trade said “No. It’s not about me. Today’s not about me. Today’s about Kyle. It’s about Kyle leaving, Kyle going to the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’m not a selfish guy, so it’s not about me. It’s not about what’s happening to me next. It’s about cherishing the time that Kyle has been here, cherishing him being a great teammate. We’ll see what happens.” That kind of talk is exactly the intangible sort of thing that makes Millsap so intriguing to acquire. Just an outstanding teammate.
Cleveland is currently the “second favorite” in NBA championship odds at +225 and at -325 to win the Eastern Conference. This trade should do nothing to change that and it should make them an even stronger bet to win the Eastern Conference. There is simply no one out there that can possibly challenge them and a return trip to the Finals looks all but guaranteed. With the addition of Korver, the Cavs now have another proven NBA starter to step in if any injury does occur.
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