The Slow Dismantling Of The Cavs Marches On

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While everyone was waiting on the Cavaliers to trade old-ass sharpshooter J.R. Smith, a different old-ass Cleveland sharpshooter was instead told to ship out, as Woj is reporting that the Cavs have traded Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz:


Also included in the deal is mediocre Utah guard Alec Burks, who generally comes off the bench and gets a few buckets every night. Burks is a free agent after this season, so his best hope in Cleveland will be just to juice his scoring numbers as much as possible while riding it out with the worst team in the East.

The 37-year-old Korver, meanwhile, goes to a 9-12 Jazz team currently struggling to meet the expectations set by a very good 2017-18 season, partially because stud rookie Donovan Mitchell has been not entirely healthy and also less efficient so far in his second year. Korver is signed through the 2019-20 season—though his annual $7.5 million is only partially guaranteed in that final year—and despite the fact that his minutes have declined this season, one of the best longball shooters in NBA history remains as accurate as ever, and he could be a real help to his new team. Only two of Utah’s main starters (Joe Ingles and Ricky Rubio) are shooting over 30 percent from three this year, and with Rudy Gobert—and to a lesser extent, Derrick Favors—commanding plenty of minutes but also failing to provide a threat from deep, more spacing is a must.

Besides the nuts and bolts of this trade, however, the whole thing is just a little bit sad, isn’t it? The Cavs have made the Finals four years in a row, and even though several guys from the 2016 title-winning team like J.R., Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, Tristan Thompson’s insanely massive contract, and Channing Frye (somehow) are still hanging around, it’s chilling to witness just how steep the drop has been since LeBron left town. With Love’s injury and a mess of a head coach firing in just the first month of the season, the team almost feels jinxed. Korver’s departure is likely only the first of what could be a few more bummer trades upcoming. There’s nothing left in Cleveland anymore, and it’s down to guys like Collin Sexton and Cedi Osman, I suppose, to try and build something new.