The rebuilding of the Cavs continued Wednesday.
Prior to its game in Oklahoma City, Cleveland dealt swingman Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz for talented but injury-plagued shooting guard Alec Burks and a pair of second-round picks.
The 37-year-old Korver was coming off a season-high 22-point game Saturday versus Minnesota, which included 6-for-9 3-point shooting and 14 points in the fourth quarter.
For the season, the 6-foot-7, 212-pounder averaged 6.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists for the Cavs, who sometimes used him for significant minutes and sometimes played him sparingly or not at all.
Korver is making $7.56 million this season and has a contract for $7.5 million in 2019-20, but only $3.4 million of the latter is guaranteed if he’s waived by July 7. The well-conditioned, 16th-year pro is in the twilight of his career, but his 3-point shooting makes him a valuable addition for Utah, a likely playoff team.
The 6-6, 214-pound Burks was chosen by the Jazz with the 12th pick in the 2011 draft. The 27-year-old averaged 8.4 points, 1.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists for Utah this season and has averaged 9.6, 2.9 and 1.6 for his career, which has had its share of ups and downs.
Burks, who is in the final year of a four-year, $42 million deal, is earning $11.3 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in July. The trade allows the Cavs to get out from under Korver’s contract and gives them an opportunity to get a great look at Burks, who played collegiately at Colorado and was off to a promising start in the NBA before being derailed by injuries.
Burks played in 72 games in 2013-14 and averaged 14.0 points. He averaged 13.9 the following season, but appeared in just 27 games due to a shoulder injury.
In 2015-16, Burks averaged 13.3 points but missed 50 games due to a fractured ankle. That injury carried over to the following season, when Burks missed 40 games and saw his scoring average dip to 6.7. Burks bounced back to play 64 games last season, averaging 7.7 points.
The Cavs originally gave Atlanta a first-round pick for Korver, but it is top-10 protected in the 2019 and 2020 drafts. If it’s not conveyed by then — and it almost certainly won’t be in 2019 — the Hawks will get a pair of second-round picks from the Cavs, which is what Cleveland received from Utah along with Burks, who could be traded again later in the season.
After losing four-time league MVP LeBron James via free agency in July, the Cavs began the season hoping to contend for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but a poor start quickly put them in rebuilding mode.
Veteran shooting guard J.R. Smith is earning $14.7 million this season while away from the team, which is attempting to trade him.
Point guard George Hill, who is about to return from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since Nov. 5, almost certainly is also available. Hill is earning $19 million this season and has a contract for $18 million in 2019-20, but only $1 million of the latter is guaranteed.
Though he’s been playing extremely well, center Tristan Thompson is probably available as well, for the right package. He’s earning $17.5 million this season and is guaranteed $18.5 million next season, after which he will be an unrestricted free agent.
The second-round picks the Cavs are getting from Utah are reportedly the Jazz’s choice in 2020 and a 2021 selection that originally belonged to Washington.
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