During David Griffin’s tenure as general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers he has repeatedly made aggressive trades, no matter the time of the year, in order to put the Cavs in the best position to contend for the title. Fans have seen it time and time again resulting in players like JR Smith, Channing Frye and Kevin Love joining the team. Well Griffin has done it again, this time pushing his chips in the center of the table and dealing for Atlanta Hawks sharp shooter Kyle Korver. The former Allstar is an excellent fit on the Cavs roster offensively and fills a much needed wing rotation spot for the wine and gold.
Cavs will be sending 2019 protected 1st to Atlanta and Mike Dunleavy in deal. sources said.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) January 6, 2017
But in order to get something of value sometimes you have to give up something and Griffin did just that in this deal. The Cavs are sending Mike Dunleavy and a heavily protected first round pick (2019) to Atlanta as payment for one of the best shooters in the league. Many fans had high hopes for Mike Dunleavy when he first arrived from Chicago this offseason, but his play this year has left a lot to be desired. Dunleavy has been struggling recently and shipping him and exchanging him for a wing who belongs in an NBA rotation is fantastic for the Wine & Gold. Despite trading away Dunleavy, a relatively well known NBA player, the first round pick is the true asset that Griffin gave up for Korver’s services.
The first round pick the Cavaliers are sending to Atlanta will be for the 2019 draft (thanks to some creative dealing Griffin did with Portland in a separate deal) and is said to have some restrictions. Cleveland will likely still be an excellent team in 2019 so there is limited risk in dealing the pick but it will be interesting to see just exactly what protections Griffin was able to get on the pick.
The Cavs did not just give up Dunleavy and a future first for Korver, they also gave up a bit of roster flexibility. Having already dealt their 2017 first round pick to Portland earlier in the day, trading away another first rounder severely limits what types of moves the Cavs can make in the future. The next first round pick the team is able to trade away is their 2021 pick and that has limited value. Griffin somehow was able to save his trade exception from the Anderson Varajeo trade and still has Cedi Osman up his sleeve but the rest of the asset chest is now looking pretty bare.
Korver is in the last year of his contract and will be a free agent at the end of the year but the deal is still an excellent one for Cleveland. On paper, Korver is an exceptional fit for this Cavs team and looking at this deal I am reminded of last season’s mid-year acquisition of Channing Frye. Like Frye, Korver is an exceptional three point shooter and fills a position of need for the team at the time of he was brought into the fold. Griffin was always going to shoot his shot, it’s whats he’s done and it has won him a ring. And when it comes to shooting shots, you can’t really go wrong betting on Kyle Korver.