The Cavs trading for one-time All-Star Kyle Korver does not make the same splash as Kevin Durant signing with the Warriors, but the impact could be monstrous. If there’s any player who fits into what the Cavs are looking to do, it’s a guy like Korver.
With the ball in the hands of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, Tyronne Lue would like to spread the court and allow his playmakers to penetrate and kick, run pick-and-roll, or get to the rim. Korver, though he has started to show early some signs of age on the glass and defensively, is still a dead-eye shooter. He’s making 41% of his threes this season, including a blistering 52% from the corners. A whopping 98% of his threes are assisted. He’s an assassin from outside, ready to strike at all times. If the defender covering Korver sags to help off at all, Korver’s team is getting a three.
With LeBron and Kyrie knifing through defenses, the Cavs now have the luxury of playing at least two shooters alongside that tandem. Korver, Kevin Love, JR Smith, DeAndre Liggins, and Channing Frye all shoot better than 37.5% on catch-and-shoot deepballs. James and Irving shoot above 37% on their threes as well. Good luck, defenses.
Lue must be licking his chops at the thought of some lineups now at his disposal. The idea of trotting out Irving-Smith-Korver-James and either Frye, Love, or the rebounding and screen-setting prowess of Tristan Thompson has to have other Eastern Conference foes shaking in their boots. In need of a bucket in crunch time, any of those five man combinations would prove a tall task to stop. So far this season, the Cavs most potent four man combination has been Irving-Liggins-James-Love with an offensive rating of over 130 and a 3-point percentage of 50.8 when on the floor together. Sliding Korver into that lineup only makes it more potent and dastardly.
With Atlanta reportedly active in trade talks involving Paul Millsap, Toronto would be best suited to get involved, since the Cavs just made the first major move of the NBA season. For the Warriors? A move for a rim protector makes even more sense now.
Shane McNichol is the founder, editor, and writer at PalestraBack.com. He has also contributed to SALTMoney.org, Rush The Court, ESPN.com, and USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @OnTheShaneTrain. If you have any suggestions, tips, ideas, or questions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.