The defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers have reached an agreement on a deal to acquire guard Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told The Vertical.
The Cavaliers and Hawks are still finalizing the terms of the trade, with a 2019 first-round pick and Mike Dunleavy Jr. going to Atlanta, league sources said.
The Cavaliers and Hawks are planning on a trade call with the league office in New York to finalize the deal on Friday, but will work until then to find a third team to take Dunleavy, league sources said. Atlanta is willing to keep Dunleavy to make the deal work, but he doesn’t fit into its plans to make the roster younger and more financially flexible.
Dunleavy makes $4.8 million this season, and his contract is guaranteed for only $1.7 million of the $5.1 million he’s owed in 2017-18.
Atlanta owns six second-round picks over the next three years – and has up to $3.5 million available – as assets to attach in a Dunleavy deal.
Atlanta (19-16) is engaged in discussions with several teams on forward Paul Millsap, who can become a free agent in July, and the organization is motivated to move him sooner rather than later, sources said. Toronto, Denver and Sacramento are among teams with an interest in Millsap, league sources said.
Cleveland’s Korver acquisition keeps pressure on Toronto to make a move to improve itself in the Eastern Conference. Toronto has the assets – including young players and draft picks – to make a deal for Millsap, but Raptors GM Masai Ujiri has to weigh the Raptors’ ability to re-sign Millsap in the summer – and his payroll. Millsap is expected to use his player option to become a free agent, and he could cost nearly $30 million annually. The Raptors also will need to re-sign All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, who will command a similar extension. Toronto wants to re-sign forward Patrick Patterson, too.
Korver bolsters the Cavaliers’ shooting and wing rotation with guard J.R. Smith out for 10 to 14 weeks because of thumb surgery. Korver, 35, has averaged 9.5 points and shot 40.9 percent from 3-point range in 32 games this season. For the Hawks, this signals a change in the franchise’s direction, with free agent-to-be Thabo Sefolosha also a valued asset on the trade market.
The Cavaliers would add $1.3 million to their luxury tax bill with the acquisition of Korver.
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