korver lebron
Getty

Cavaliers and Hawks finalize Kyle Korver trade

4 Comments

Kyle Korver is now officialy a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team announced via its website on Saturday they had finalized the deal with the Atlanta Hawks, sending Mike Dunleavy, Mo Williams, cash, and a protected 2019 first round pick.

Korver, 35, is shooting 40.9% from 3-point range and is likely to be a huge floor-spacer for the Cavaliers. While Cleveland is statistically a good 3-point shooting team, they’ve missed the impact of JR Smith, who is out until spring with a thumb injury.

Via Twitter:

Atlanta, meanwhile, looks to be on the way to trading away their core and rebuilding despite a recent 60-win season in 2014-15.

The Hawks are reportedly actively looking to deal Paul Millsap, whose contract is eligible for early termination after this season ends, an option Millsap will almost certainly exercise.

Meanwhile, the Hawks aren’t looking to keep much of what they traded for. Atlanta is reportedly trying to shop Dunleavy around, but will keep him if there isn’t a suitable partner.

Williams, meanwhile, is effectively retired after having surgery in October and won’t see the floor for the Hawks.

The real value for Atlanta is in Cleveland’s draft pick, which is Top 10 protected for 2019 and 2020 before converting into two second rounders in the following years.

The Cavaliers were able to trade back with the Portland Trail Blazers for their 2018 first rounder, swapping them their 2017 first round pick in order to allow them to trade the 2019 pick. The NBA has a rule prohibiting teams trading their first round pick in consecutive years.

It’s likely the Cavaliers will convey that pick immediately in 2019 at the end of the first round.

Kobe Bryant still has it, bounces shot in from near half court

Getty Images
Leave a comment

This was a Nike gala, an event with a basketball theme. The court was lit up from below, there were tables at half court, and people had drinks in their hands.

Kobe Bryant was there, stylishly dressed in black. So was famous model Winnie Harlow.

Know that regardless of the setting, Kobe still has game.

Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala cleared to play vs. Pelicans Friday

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Without Draymond Green in the fourth quarter Tuesday night in the opener, and with Andre Iguodala out for the game, the Warriors defense fell apart against Houston. The Rockets scored 34 points in the quarter and came from behind to beat a Warriors team that had been in control of the game up to that point. There was more to it than just Green’s balky knee, but without the Defensive Player of the Year they are not the same.

Bad news for the Pelicans: Green and Iguodala have been cleared to play in New Orleans Friday. Green had an MRI and it came back negative.

Green admitted he was concerned that the injury, via Anthony Slater of The Athletic.

Now it is the Pelicans who should be concerned. The Warriors will want to wash the feeling of that opening night loss off them.

Report: Kevin Love was frustrated with move to center

Getty Images
1 Comment

With Derrick Rose having to start at point guard (until Isiah Thomas returns sometime in early 2018) and Dwyane Wade starting at the two, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had no choice but to move Kevin Love to starting at center. The Cavaliers desperately need the floor spacing to open up driving lanes and options for LeBron James. Start Tristan Thompson at the five (with Love at the four and Jae Crowder coming off the bench) and it adds another non-shooter to the mix that allows opposing defenses to just pack the paint and force LeBron to be a jump shooter.

That doesn’t mean everyone liked the change.

Love admitted to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer he was frustrated with the move at first.

“It’s been a little bit of a change for me,” Love admitted. “I still find myself spacing a little bit wanting to roll a little bit more and on the defensive end just playing the primary big on their team the whole time on the defensive end. It’s been a little bit different figuring things out on that end, but it comes with the growth I’m talking about. We need to do that and hopefully be a machine when things start clicking.”

Lue put it this way.

“We’re going to try it out and see how it works. He was frustrated at first, but now he’s enjoying it.”

While in certain matchups, when the opposition has a more traditional center, the Cavs may go back to the Love/Thompson front line for a stretch. But the small ball lineup is the way Cleveland should be leaning, even with its clear defensive deficiencies. We saw that in the opener with Love’s dagger three in the fourth quarter.

Love is adjusting, he’s already sacrificed a lot to play with LeBron. This is just another step in that evolution.

Another wing down? Celtics’ Marcus Smart likely out vs. Sixers

Getty Images
4 Comments

The horrific, probably season-ending injury to Gordon Hayward has left the Celtics with a shortage of players on the wing.

Going up against Philadelphia Friday night, that might be getting worse, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston.

Looking at the pictures, I doubt Smart plays.

As noted, Smart said he hurt both ankles in the second night of a back-to-back against Milwaukee, the left one in a collision with teammate Jaylen Brown. Smart started that game and played 32 minutes. That’s a lot of time to go to lesser players.

If he’s out Friday, that likely means either Terry Rozier or Abdel Nader get the start, and both are going to see a healthy bump in minutes. Whatever happens, the Celtics would miss Smart in a game where they need to defend Ben Simmons on the wing.