The Cleveland Cavaliers have traded Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Jazz dealt Alec Burks, and 2020 and 2021 second-round picks via the Wizards to the Cavs in the deal.
Korver’s name had been on the market since the very beginning of the Cavaliers disappointing start to the season. He’d been rumored to the Sixers, but ultimately Utah pulled off the deal that could kickstart some change to the team’s offensive woes.
Why did the Jazz trade for Korver?
A hipster pick to finish in the top 2 or 3 seeds in the west, Utah’s 9-12 start has been surprising. Donovan Mitchell hasn’t been nearly as good as he was a season ago, when he was asked to shoulder the team’s scoring load as a rookie, and his regression has spawned few answers.
The Jazz rank No. 25 in adjusted offensive rating in the league, scoring just 107 points per 100 possessions. (The league-leading Bucks score nearly 117 per 100.)
All Korver does is score. He’s averaging just seven points per game in limited minutes in Cleveland, but he’s shooting as well as always. The 37-year-old is firing at 46 percent accuracy from three-point range, an area Utah needs help.
Utah ranks No. 15 in the league in deep-ball attempts at 31.6 per game, but ranks second-to-last in precision, firing at just 31.8 percent from that distance. That can’t last if the Jazz are Western Conference Finals hopefuls, and Korver is a veteran who’s proven he can fill this role anywhere.
Plus, the team only had to deal future second-round picks, and Burks, whose minutes were going to be filled by Korver anyway.
Why did the Cavs let go of Korver?
It’s tank time in Cleveland. The 4-15 Cavs have plummeted among the league’s worst without LeBron James.
Kevin Love’s been injured, only playing four games this season, but the rest of the pieces haven’t fit well either. It’s obvious that Cleveland isn’t likely to make the playoffs, and even if it did, the Cavs stay would be short-lived.
Korver’s 37 years old, and can help a postseason team. He’s one of the few assets Cleveland had left, and turning a vet who wasn’t part of the long-term vision into two future picks and an experiment in Burks, who’s on an expiring contract, isn’t a bad haul.
Cleveland can afford to spend the season seeing if Burks makes sense to keep long-term.