It’s been a rough start to the season for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After starting out 0-6 — the worst start for the team in 20-plus years, and the worst start ever for a team coming off a Finals appearance — they fired head coach Ty Lue. Now, they’re locked in a bizarre stalemate with Larry Drew, who is acting as coach, but wants further commitments from the team to officially accept the interim head-coaching role. And that doesn’t even take into account that Kevin Love has missed the past three games, and could be looking at a long absence due to his foot injury.
With Lue fired and Love hurt, it appears the Cavs are ready to just punt on this season and prepare for the future. According to a report from ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs have opened up trade talks involving veteran 3-point specialist Kyle Korver, and could be open to dealing other veterans as well. Via ESPN:
Meanwhile, the Cavs have initiated testing the trade market for guard Kyle Korver in the past several days, sources said. There was some trade interest in Korver last summer, and the Cavs are circling back on those talks.
Two games into the season, Smith and Korver were told they would be out of the rotation, sources said. Then-coach Ty Lue reversed that decision and elected to reinsert them into the lineup. The team lost its next three games, and Lue was fired.
Korver remained in the rotation on Tuesday night but scored just three points in 15 minutes.
The Cavs could become more active in looking to trade other veteran players in the coming weeks, sources said.
Part of the reason for removing Lue was a disagreement between him and the front office over how much the veterans like Korver, J.R. Smith and Channing Frye should play. One way to solve that dilemma moving forward is too simply trade those players away instead of figuring out how to play them enough to keep them happy, while also giving chances to young players.
An elite shooter on a fairly cheap contract, Korver figures to be enticing to many teams, even as he nears the end of his career. Teams hoping to contend and looking for another piece to solidify their roster — hello, Sixers — would do well to add a player like Korver.
Perhaps the most interesting trade piece the Cavs have, however, is Love. He’s still a very good player, but is injury prone as we’ve already seen this season, and just signed a massive four-year, $120M extension.
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