The defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers recently lost shooting guard J.R. Smith to a thumb injury that is expected to keep him out for about three months, and they didn’t take long to find his replacement. In fact, they may have even gotten an upgrade.
The Vertical reports that the Cavs and Atlanta Hawks are finalizing a deal that will send veteran shooting guard Kyle Korver to Cleveland:
Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus is hearing that Mo Williams will go to the Hawks in the deal, along with a “heavily protected” first-round pick from Cleveland:
Korver, 35, is one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history, sporting a 42.9% from behind the arc in his career (over 4,554 attempts). In 2016-17, Korver has a 40.9 three-point %, while also averaging 9.5 points, 2.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. He’s spent the last four seasons with the Hawks, and led the NBA in three-point percentage twice over that span.
Korver will allow the Cavs to space the floor more and only make LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love more dangerous. LeBron is one of the best passers in the league, and if a team attempts to double-team him, he can just kick it out to Korver for an open three.
Just in case the Cavs needed another weapon, right?
Cleveland is three games up on the Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, and barring serious injuries, will be heavy favorites over the Raptors and anyone else in the East for a playoff series. And while they won’t tell you they’re thinking about the Warriors, they’re surely thinking about the Warriors with this move too. The Korver addition would give them more firepower and spacing to play with the Warriors in a Finals series rematch.