Already thin on talent, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been decimated by injuries in the first month of the season. However with Cedi Osman already back in the lineup, the team has received more good news as Kyle Korver will be returning to the fold.
As reported by Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, Korver practiced on Friday and intends to be available for Monday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. In that report, Larry Drew indicated that the team will bring Korver back slowly, but its intention is not for him to replace David Nwaba in the rotation.
The return of Korver will help the Cavs run more balanced lineups, as he is by far the best shooter on the team. With Tristan Thompson and Larry Nance Jr. playing significant minutes together as a tandem, surrounding them with shooting has to be a priority. Especially to assist in Collin Sexton being able to get to the rim with greater ease.
If the plan isn’t to cut back on Nwaba’s minutes too significantly, the obvious candidate to lose time would be J.R. Smith. Smith averaged just shy of 32 minutes per game in Korver’s absence and went 8-24 from the field in those games. Korver should be able to provide more reliable shooting and a less ball-dominant presence that fits better alongside Sexton.
The 2-12 Cavaliers will go on a one-game road trip to Detroit on Monday night before hosting LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.