Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported Thursday evening that the Atlanta Hawks have agreed to a deal to send sharpshooter Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Wojnarowski says the details of the trade are still being hammered out, but Mike Dunleavy Jr. and a heavily protected future first round draft pick are expected to head to Atlanta. The two clubs are reportedly planning to make the trade call to the league office in New York City on Friday.
The Hawks do not plan to keep Dunleavy and are seeking a third team to help facilitate a deal. They will take him in order to make the deal work financially, but he is most likely to wind up elsewhere.
The Hawks own six second round draft picks over the next three years. They can likely attach one of those to Dunleavy as sweetener in a deal with another club.
Korver has emerged as one of the league’s best three-point shooters in recent years. The 35-year-old is averaging 9.5 points per game this season and has connected on nearly 41 percent of his threes in 32 games so far for Atlanta. He has seen his role diminished in recent weeks in favor of younger players like Kent Bazemore and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Korver’s acquisition will help Cleveland weather the storm of the JR Smith injury. Smith is out for several months after being forced to undergo wrist surgery in December. DeAndre Liggins has been starting at the shooting guard spot in Smith’s place. While Liggins is a very capable defensive player, he does not bring much to the other end of the floor.
From the Hawks’ perspective, this move signals that a rebuild may be in order. While they have won five straight games to move to 20-16 on the year, the team’s brass clearly knows that they do not currently have the kind of firepower necessary to hang with teams like Cleveland and the Toronto Raptors in the east.
Wojnarowski says that their next order of business will likely be finding a new home for Paul Millsap. Millsap is an All-Star caliber player in the final season of his deal. He has already been linked with Toronto, the Denver Nuggets, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and a host of other teams.
Atlanta will not get as much in return for him thanks to his status as an expiring player, but he should still bring a good bit of value in return. The do-it-all forward is averaging 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 steals in 33 games so far this season.
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