One deal is done.
There may be more trades for the Hawks in the coming days and before the Feb. 23 NBA trade deadline but one roster-altering move has been made.
The Hawks officially completed the trade to send Kyle Korver to the Cavaliers for a Mike Dunleavy Jr., Mo Williams and future first-round pick on Saturday.
The teams were finalizing the trade on Thursday when news of it broke and Korver was informed of the pending deal and held out of a game against the Pelicans. The Hawks continued to seek another team to take Dunleavy, dealing with multiple teams, but ultimately competed the trade in the framework.
With the trade of Korver, the Hawks continue to talk to multiple teams about multiple players. Paul Millsap is the centerpiece of most of the discussions. For now, he remains with the Hawks. As for whether the trade of Korver and possible other moves signals a change in the direction of the franchise, coach Mike Budenholzer said not necessarily.
“My answer to that is I don’t think there should be any assumptions made about anything,” said Budenholzer, who also serves as president of basketball operations. “Organizationally, we have to make hard decisions. I think it’s important that each one of them puts us in the best situation, the best place, to be a great organization. In this case, we made a trade that wasn’t easy. It was a hard decision. This is a good team that we have. This is a team that has shown an ability to compete at a high level. Keeping it together is something … I just wouldn’t make any assumptions going forward.”
Korver played 332 games with the Hawks in his four-plus seasons. He averaged 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 31.3 minutes. He shot .462 from the field, .452 from 3-point range and .887 from the free-throw line. He is the Hawks’ all-time leader in free-throw percentage and is third in all-time 3-pointers made list (818). He hit at least one 3-pointer in 311 games with the team. He ranks eighth in NBA history with 1,952 career 3-pointers. He set the NBA record for consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer of 126 that has since been broken by Steph Curry. Korver was one of four Hawks players to make the All-Star team in 2015.
Two days after the trade of Korver, there was still a sense of emotion in Budenholzer.
“Kyle is somebody who was a big part of us building our culture and our success over the last five years,” Budenholzer said. “I have a ton of respect for him and an appreciation for him as a player, more so as a human being. … You know me, I’m a little emotional. Luckily I had 24-48 hours before I had to talk to you guys. A lot of those conversations are private. I think everybody knows how I feel about Kyle.”
The first-round pick the Hawks receive is for 2019. It is top-10 protected and will move to 2020 if not conveyed in 2019. The Hawks also received cash in the deal to pay for the remaining guaranteed money on Williams’ contract. Williams has not played this season after surgery and will not join the Hawks.
“Between injuries and the end of his career, I wouldn’t expect Mo to be a part of us going forward,” Budenholzer said.
Despite looking to move Dunleavy, he is expected to join the Hawks as soon as possible. He won’t be with the team for Saturday’s game at the Mavericks.
“We will bring him in,” Budenholzer said. “I think he’s got the type of game and a skill set that I think he could be very good playing for us. We’ll just have to see how he is, integrate him, continue to build. He’s a player who we’ve liked, and personal I’ve liked, for a long time. We’ll see how he fits into our mix.”
With the departure of Korver, Budenholzer said he expects a bigger role for Tim Hardaway Jr. and more minutes for rookies Taurean Prince and DeAndre Bembry.
Hardaway, who will be a restricted free agent following the season, is also a player the Hawks had discussions about with other teams. His role has increased this season and has averaged 11.4 points per game. He has scored in double figures 21 times, including six 20-point games.
“I’m excited but I also know we have (Prince) and (Bembry) and wings who are capable filling that role as well,” Hardaway said. “We have to come together and play hard together.”
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