CLEVELAND (AP) The defending NBA champions just got a lot tougher to stop.
Two days after agreeing to the deal, the Cleveland Cavaliers completed a trade with Atlanta for Kyle Korver, one of the league’s best 3-point shooters, who will be able to spot up on the perimeter and wait for LeBron James to pass him the ball.
The Cavs sent forward Mike Dunleavy, guard Mo Williams, cash and a protected future first-round draft pick to the Hawks for Korver, a 14-year veteran whose ability to come off screens and deep range challenge defenses.
The trade was agreed upon Thursday and completed Saturday.
”We are extremely pleased to be able to add a player and person the caliber of Kyle Korver to our Cavs family,” general manager David Griffin said. ”Among the most prolific and dynamic 3-point shooters in NBA history, a selfless, and team first competitor, Kyle brings all of the elements of Cavs DNA that we covet on and off the floor.”
The 35-year-old Korver is expected to help Cleveland offset the loss of J.R. Smith, who will be out until April after suffering a complex thumb fracture and undergoing surgery. The 6-foot-7 Korver has made 43 percent of his 3-pointers during his career and also has plenty of postseason experience.
”A guy that’s played at a high level for a long time, has championship aspirations,” James said following Friday’s win at Brooklyn. ”And he has another rocket launcher.”
Coach Tyronn Lue said he intends to bring Korver off the bench.
Griffin was able to open up a roster spot in dealing Dunleavy, who was a disappointment in his first seasons for Cleveland, and Williams, who hasn’t played after saying he was retiring. By dumping him on Atlanta, the Cavs are also ridding themselves of the rest of his $2.1 million salary.
The Cavs, who are headed west for five games, would like to add a veteran backup point guard, a spot they’ve needed to address since electing not to re-sign Matthew Dellavedova in free agency last summer. Rookie Kay Felder has improved but Cleveland needs more at the position.