- Jim Mone/AP
The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly finalizing a trade with the Atlanta Hawks for sharpshooter Kyle Korver.
As the Hawks begin what looks like the early stages of a rebuilding project, the Cavaliers come out as winners of the trade, acquiring one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA.
Korver’s addition would make the Cavaliers – a team already stocked with shooters and capable scorers – even tougher to defend.
And there’s reason to be optimistic that Korver would be even better with the Cavs. Korver, a career 43% three-point shooter who’s led the NBA over the last decade in made threes, has never played with a passer like LeBron James. As defenses inevitably gear up to stop James or any of the Cavs’ other scorers, Korver should be basking in open catch-and-shoot opportunities.
On Friday, Kevin Love told reporters what his advice would be for Korver, summarizing how easy his job should be once he lands in Cleveland:
Kevin Love’s advice to Kyle Korver on playing with LeBron: “When you catch the ball, shoot it.”
— James Herbert (@outsidethenba) January 6, 2017
No need to overthink it.
That shouldn’t be too hard for Korver. This season, James has been passing better than ever, averaging 8.5 assists per game, one-tenth of an assist shy of his career high. James has even taken it upon himself to become the best playmaker possible by learning exactly how his teammates like to catch the ball when they shoot it. If Korver likes to catch the ball up high and shoot it with the laces, for example, James would learn that and deliver the ball to him that way, at least according to James.
The Cavs are fifth in the NBA in offensive rating this season, scoring 110 points per 100 possessions. They’re also second in the made threes per game, canning 13 per contest. With Korver, both numbers should rise, and he should enjoy a bounty of open looks from beyond the arc.