The defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers got better on Thursday evening, as the team reportedly went out and acquired Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks.
Korver would provide LeBron James and the Cavaliers with a nice addition of spacing on the wing. The 35-year-old swingman was a key cog on Atlanta’s 60-win team during the 2014-2015 season, making the All-Star team, and he continues to be a stellar three-point threat. In addition, Korver serves as an underrated positional defender and fills a presumed role for Cleveland, especially in the absence of J.R. Smith.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have reportedly flirted with a trade involving Paul Millsap. With this deal, it seems like the team made its first overture at a potential rebuild. Atlanta faces a situation in the offseason in which nine players, including several veterans, were set to hit the market as free agents. Beyond that, the Hawks appear to be a playoff team this season, but not one that figures to challenge the likes of the Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics at the top of the heap.
If, indeed, the Hawks will receive a protected first-round pick from the Cavaliers, it appears it will quite a bit of time to convey. Cleveland’s stockpile of picks is, as you may imagine, quite limited given the way they built the current roster.
At this early juncture, it is still slightly unclear what the Cavaliers will be sending Atlanta’s way, though the Cavaliers do have a trade exception and some expiring contracts that could conjure a package. What is crystal clear, though, is that Cleveland is better than they were on Wednesday, and that is bad news for the rest of the East.