It’s official ,the Atlanta Hawks traded ultimate glue guy Kyle Korver and 40% three point shooter to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Mo Williams, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and a 2019 first round pick. The big question will be, what does this do for the Cavs most likely return to the NBA finals? How does this effect the Hawks and their future going forward? These trades present more questions than answers, so without further ado here we go.
We will start with Cleveland who is getting hit hard by the injury bug. This has taken a major hit to their depth. With J.R. Smith out until April with a broken thumb and Chris Anderson out for the season with a torn ACL. This is not counting the games that the “Big three” have missed due to nagging injuries, rest or in Kevin Love’s case the flu. What Korver will provide is excellent three point shooting, above average perimeter defense, good locker room charisma, and he is an unselfish player. As long as Lebron is playing for the Cavs. These type of trades will happen each season. This is what happens when you rely on top tier talent and not enough cap room to have legitimate depth on your roster. All you can do is hope everyone stays healthy all season to cover up depth problems.
With the way the Cavs run their offense adding Korver is just a thing of beauty. The important thing to watch for is how good Korver’s looks from three will be while on Cleveland. With a potential starting lineup of Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Kyle Korver and Tristan Thompson, This lineup would be just too difficult to stop with James. Irving and Love already very tough to handle on their own, now you add Korver lurking from three or being able to cut to the basket to get an easy layup. Expect opposing coaches having a tough time figuring out how to stop the Cavs. They will wish the game was over before it even started. Combine Kyrie’s ability to get to the rim, with his quickness and the respect for his three point shot and Lebron being able to beat you from anywhere on the floor, Sprinkle in Kevin Love playing his best basketball since coming to Cleveland. You have a recipe for an onslaught at any point in the game. Look for the Cavs to be able to weather the injury bug and get better as the season progresses. This will give them more time to rest during the early rounds of the playoffs, after they make quick work of their opponents.
For the Atlanta Hawks who had 60 wins just two short seasons ago, now only have Paul Millsap as the last starter left from that magical year. From the Hawks perspective, they received the best offer for a 35 year old player on an expiring contract nobody else came close. With Monday’s report of Paul Millsap wanting to stay in Atlanta and management taking him off the trading block, this changes everything. Instead of a full rebuild, the tables have turned and now you’re looking at a roster that will be able to compete for a division title. Management needs to open up the checkbook for Millsap in the off-season, considering he publicly said he wants to stay with the team. They need to pay Millsap five years 175-180 million. It will be the necessary price for a player of his skill set that will be the bonafied leader of the team.
Atlanta will be in good shape going forward if management follows through paying Millsap. They will be looking at having a good young point-guard in Dennis Schroder. Then they have Kent Bazemore, Dwight Howard and Millsap as their core. What to look for is what will the Hawks do with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Thabo Sefolosha. These are important pieces to their depth and will be a sign in what direction the organization wants to go by keeping those veterans who are on expiring contracts. Or let the young legs of rookies Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry get the playing time they need in order to see what the Hawks have in the pair of 22 year olds. Either way, the news of Millsap wanting to stay and management taking Millsap off the trading block is big news for Hawks fans and will keep this team relevant for the upcoming future. This will attract a free-agent in the future that will help this team succeed and be able to fly over the competition in the Southeast division for years to come.