CANTON, Ohio- I get the feeling that I was in the minority of people that were extremely excited when I found out that Cleveland had completed a trade for sharpshooter Kyle Korver. I knew what Korver was capable of and to take it a step further, when Cleveland played Atlanta in the playoffs the last two seasons, Korver was the guy that I was always worried about. Would he get hot from deep and shoot the Cavaliers right out of a game? At that time, the answer was no, thankfully for Cavalier fans.
Since becoming a Cav, Korver has shot the lights out from 3-point range. Kyle, in 22 games played for Cleveland, is shooting 52% from the field, 51% from deep and is averaging close to 12 points a game. Korver’s stats with the Hawks from 54 games last year and 32 games this year? About 45% from the field, around 43% from 3-point range and around 10 PPG. Let me add this. Korver has added a new dimension to Cleveland’s offense that it has never had. At no point has Cleveland had a guy in a role that involves him just running through screens just to catch and shoot. Kyle Korver is also now 5th on the all-time 3-pointers made list. Korver has drained 2,017 in 14 seasons (1,018 games). Kyle has attempted 4,681 three’s. Korver has already told Cleveland that he would love to sign an extension and remain a Cavalier. One note with shooters. As long as they have their legs, they will be able to shoot it. Korver is 35 and he’ll turn 36 March 17th. What could benefit Korver here in Cleveland is he’ll come off the bench and be playing less minutes and second, Kyle won’t have to always run around the court through screens to get open. With James, Irving and multiple other shooters around him that demand so much attention, he can do more standing around then with previous teams.
I wrote an article a couple of weeks ago, about Cleveland signing former #2 overall pick (2011 draft) Derrick Williams to a 10-day contract. I said I didn’t expect him to stick around the rest of the season. Cavaliers play-by-play announcer Fred McLeod made a very smart statement regarding Williams during the Cavs win over Milwaukee Monday night. In 5 seasons in the NBA, Williams has played for Minnesota, Sacramento, New York, Miami and now here in Cleveland. When Minnesota drafted Derrick, he was being depended upon to be the main guy on their team. For good reason, he was drafted #2 overall. It obviously didn’t work out for him or the Timberwolves. He then tried to resurrect his career with the Kings. Again, didn’t go well. The same story with stops with the Knicks and Heat. Here’s something that you may have not heard about. While in Miami, after a while, Pat Riley had a talk with Williams privately. Riley told Williams “You’re doing OK, but you’ll have to do better than OK to stay in this league”. Williams response? “OK”. Since Cleveland signed Williams, he’s averaging 24 minutes, shooting 57% from the field, 36% from 3-point range which isn’t great, but it’s the best 3-point shooting percentage of his career. Williams is also averaging 10 PPG. LeBron told Derrick when he arrived in Cleveland to always be ready for a pass and if he runs the floor, James will find him. So, you might be asking what my point is. Yes, he’s not going to give you 20 points in a game most of the time. But, Williams has brought his youth (25 years old), size (6’8-240lb) and ability to guard multiple positions on the floor to the Cavaliers. I was not expecting Derrick Williams to play this well, but, I think the main reason why, is because he’s not being expected to be the center piece of the team. Those players are already here. Now, he’s asked to play defense and be a solid role player. All the pressure is off now. Williams looks very comfortable here in Cleveland.
The trade deadline has come and gone. Cleveland made no trades, unless you want to still bring up the Korver deal. That’s fine with me. Cavaliers GM David Griffin waited patiently for players to be waived by teams. Well, that has happened, and now Griffin was able to sign a solid backup PG in Deron Williams. So far, this season in 40 games with Dallas, Williams averaged 13 PPG and close to 7 AST a game. Deron Williams is shooting 43% from the field and 34% from deep. Cleveland signed Williams to help give Kyrie Irving and LeBron James a break from running the point.
Ever since Mozgov signed with the Lakers this past Summer, Cleveland has been in need for a legit big man who can rebound and defend the rim. Again, a patient Griffin waited and the next thing we all know, Dallas, traded Andrew Bogut to the 76ers. The Warriors had traded Bogut, who spent the previous four seasons with Golden State, to Dallas. Philadelphia then bought out and waived Bogut. He is expected to sign this weekend with Cleveland. In 26 games with Dallas, Bogut averaged 3 points and 8 rebounds a game.
Cleveland will have to waive a player to make room for Bogut. Speculation has been that Jordan McRae will be that player, but that has not been confirmed.
Cavaliers general manager has now landed a former #1 overall pick (bogut in 2005), former #2 overall (Derrick Williams in 2011) and former #3 overall (Deron Williams in 2005). NO TRADES AT ALL! It’s also being reported that Bogut will be available for Monday’s home game vs. Miami.
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