The Cleveland Cavaliers were already the top favorites to win the East this season. The defending champions got stronger Thursday after news that shooter Kyle Korver will be traded to Cleveland from the Atlanta Hawks.
It’s a shocking trade considering the Hawks are one of the teams that can challenge the Cavaliers to come out of the East. While the Cavs-Hawks trade has been reported by multiple outlets, there is no confirmation on which players are involved in the possible deal.
Vertical Sources with @ShamsCharania: Atlanta is finalizing a deal to send guard Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) January 6, 2017
Cavs get stronger by acquiring Korver, 3’s
The Hawks are playing the New Orleans Pelicans at the time of the trade talks on Thursday. The Vertical is confirming that the deal is being finalized and should see approval soon from the league office.
Atlanta has won four straight games before the match-up with the Pelicans. The Hawks are at 19-16 for the season, good for fifth place in the East. The Cavaliers are comfortably at the top with a 26-8 record.
Korver’s role with the Hawks has diminished this season. The 14-year veteran shooter has averaged 9.5 points with two three-pointers made per game in 32 games this season. But Atlanta has lots of options in the wings. They still have Kent Bazemore, Thabo Sefalosha and Tim Hardaway Jr. in their guard/forward rotation.
The Cavaliers lost J.R. Smith to a long-term injury last month. He’s set to return later in the regular season and should rejoin before the NBA Playoffs. Getting Korver is a big move for Cleveland since it addresses one of their weaknesses (three-point shooting) and should help stretch the floor for the team’s stars.
While there is no specific player or draft pick mentioned in the Kyle Korver trade the Cavaliers are likely sending a player with low salary or their trade exception to Atlanta in the deal.
Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@KyleKorver