Due to the recent exit of LeBron James via free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to be fielding a noticeably different lineup in the 2018-19 NBA season. While several key players don’t appear to be headed anywhere at the moment, there are others whose names have cropped up in trade rumors, including shooting guard J.R. Smith. According to a new report, Smith isn’t the only Cavs veteran on the trading block, as the team also appears to have been open for some time to trading Kyle Korver to clear up salary cap space.
According to a report from Yardbarker, Cleveland.com writer Joe Vardon, who regularly covers the latest Cavs news and rumors, recently appeared on a podcast with colleague Chris Fedor, where he said that the team is trying to free up cap space by trading “at least” one veteran guard. Vardon added that the Cavaliers’ expected signing of free agent guard David Nwaba, who last played with the Chicago Bulls, is not likely to lead to Smith or Korver being removed from the trading block.
As noted earlier in the week by Bleacher Report, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said on an episode of his Lowe Post podcast that the Houston Rockets are interested in trading for J.R. Smith. While Vardon did not mention any potential team that might want to acquire the former Sixth Man of the Year winner, he stated that the Cavaliers are looking to trade the 37-year-old Korver for a future first-round pick. Vardon also noted that the Cavaliers turned down a trade that would have sent Korver to the Philadelphia 76ers for point guard Jerryd Bayless, as it “wouldn’t have benefited” the team, per Yardbarker.
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) August 5, 2018
A 15-year NBA veteran and one-time All-Star, Korver averaged 9.2 points and 2.3 rebounds and shot at a 43.6 percent clip from three-point range for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2017-18 season, fulfilling a key role off the bench for the team as they made it all the way to the NBA Finals.
While the trade rumors are swirling for both Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith, the Cavaliers are continuing their post-LeBron James rebuilding process by strengthening their bench corps. Aside from the expected signing of David Nwaba, the Cavs are reportedly making progress on a trade that would allow them to acquire reserve forward Sam Dekker from the Los Angeles Clippers. According to ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski, both sides have yet to come to terms on a deal, but the trade is expected to help the Clippers “clear a roster spot” and give Dekker a better chance of earning playing time as a former first-round pick.