The Cleveland Cavaliers acquisition of Kyle Korver further highlights the brilliance of GM David Griffin.
David Griffin’s done it again. When it seemed like the Cavs would’t be able to make any big trades because of a lack of assets and financial flexibility, Cleveland’s GM went to work.
The Cavaliers are lucky though to have a GM like David Griffin to pull off this trade. The seeds of this deal were planted last summer. Matthew Dellavedova signed an offer sheet with the Bucks. Rather than just letting him walk, the Cavs worked out a sign-and-trade with Delly, picking up a $4.8 million trade exception in the process.
Griffin used the trade exception to acquire Mike Dunleavy.
As the season progressed, it became clear Dunleavy wasn’t a fit.
The veteran, who’s battled back problems late in his career, played in 23 games for the Cavs this season, and averaged 4.6 points and 2.0 rebounds. These stats were way off his career averages of 11.4 points and 4.3 rebounds.
He shot 40 percent from beyond the arc the last two seasons with the Bulls. He was shooting .351 this season.
So the Cavs moved Dunleavy, Williams and a 2019 first-rounder to Atlanta for Korver. Dunleavy has a team option for next season. The Hawks aren’t interested in picking him up beyond this season. Atlanta wanted the draft pick.
To deal the 2019 draft choice, Griffin had to continue his creative ways. He engineered a minor deal with the Portland Trail Blazers before Cleveland could make the Korver deal official. The Cavs traded the Blazers their 2017 first-round pick to get back the 2018 first rounder they sent to Portland as part of the Anderson Varejao trade in February. The Stepien Rule prohibits teams from trading away first-round picks in consecutive years.
In essence, the Cavs turned Delly, who was going to walk away, into Kyle Korver, one of the best 3-point shooters in the game.
Griffin also created some roster flexibility by moving Williams. By ridding themselves of Williams $2.1 million contract, $2.1 million contract, the Cavs opened up a roster spot to fill the back-up point guard spot. Williams departure also means Dan Gilbert will save more than $2 million on their luxury tax liability for Mo.
Limited by the salary cap, and assets to trade, Griffin found a way to make the Cavaliers better with hopes of returning to the Finals.
Another sharp shooter to the squad gives Lebron another target to pass to. Imagine LeBron driving the lane, and kicking the rock out to Korver in the corner. Oh yeah, Korver is a career 47 percent shooter from the corner. You know James will like those odds.