The Bonus has been dark pretty much all season long. What can we say? Life’s been really busy, and as much as we wish it might be, this isn’t our day job. However, if there’s one thing that will awake us from our slumber, it’s a significant trade, and one was finally finalized yesterday after being first reported on Thursday…
Cleveland Cavaliers receive:
Kyle Korver (9.5 points per game, 2.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, .409 3PT%)
Atlanta Hawks receive:
Mike Dunleavy (4.6 points, 2 rebounds, 0.9 assists)
Mo Williams (Has not played this season, is technically retired, and will not be joining the Hawks)
A future protected first round pick
“Damn it” – the rest of the Eastern Conference contenders.
This trade gives the Cavs a fantastic three point shooter to help fill the void left by JR Smith’s injury, and once he’s back, added depth to a team that’s pretty thin once you get past LeBron, Love and Kyrie. Furthermore, the way LeBron and company move the ball around, Korver’s going to get some of the easiest and most open three point opportunities he’s ever had. This is a great addition to an already great Cavs team, and frankly, all they had to give up was some roster flotsam, and a protected first round pick that will probably be towards the bottom of the first round anyway. Damn it.
As for the Hawks, it signals that the path to rebuilding has begun, and raises the likelihood of a Paul Millsap trade. After last night’s win, Atlanta’s 21-16, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference, so it’s not like they’re bad enough to start tanking. However, they must feel like they’ve gone as far as they could with a team that was 60-22 just two seasons ago. Already gone are Al Horford and Jeff Teague, now Korver’s off to Cleveland, with a Millsap trade looming on the horizon. All four of those guys were All Stars during that wonderful 60-win season, and just as soon as the Hawks took the league by storm, they’ve already moved on, handing over the team to Dennis Schroder, Dwight Howard, and a bunch of role players, many of whom remain unproven. That actually kind of sounds depressing. It will be interesting to see if they can remain in a Playoff spot, especially if they end up trading Millsap, or will these moves open the door for one of the teams towards the bottom of the Playoff race?
Before we go, let’s pour a little out for the recent Atlanta Hawks. They improved from 38-44 to 60-22 and captured the hearts and minds of many the NBA fan with their great style of play, bringing back memories of the 2004 Pistons as a team with no true superstars that had a chance to win the title. That’s right, back then in the Playoffs of ’15, many thought the Hawks could be a true threat to the Cavs, and the Warriors to win the title. Then, they were swept in the Eastern Conference Finals by Cleveland. Never mind. The following season, they dipped down to 48-34, and were once again swept by the Cavs in the Playoffs, this time in the Semifinals. Then Horford went to the Celtics as a free agent, netting the Hawks nothing in return, and Jeff Teague was traded to the Pacers, and now here we are.
That’s the perils of living in the Eastern Conference these days. If you feel as though you just can’t get by the Cavs in the Playoffs, do you keep the team together, or do you go for something different if you feel like you have the chance. The Hawks chose something different, and two other teams, the Raptors and the Celtics, face the same issues. The Raptors have been mentioned as a strong possibility to land Paul Millsap, but does he really put them over the top against Cleveland? They might have to pull the trigger and find out. Meanwhile, the Celtics have a good thing going, especially lately, but are they really going to beat the Cavs in a seven game series? With their arsenal of assets and draft picks, will they go out there and try and make a big move to take a shot at LeBron and the Cavs? Stay tuned to find out. The NBA trade season is officially underway, and things should get pretty interesting by the time we reach next month’s trade deadline.