Some Cleveland Cavaliers are apparently still in denial of the team doing its best to lose games.
Long after their handshake agreement to trade Kyle Korver once LeBron James left in free agency and months since Korver reminded the front office to honor that agreement, the Cavaliers finally dealt the 37-year-old sharpshooter to the Utah Jazz for Alec Burks and two second-round picks on Wednesday.
Yet, some of Korver’s teammates don’t seem to grasp the very reason he wanted out of Cleveland.
I give you this, from The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, as evidence:
Multiple Cavs players are upset with the trading of Korver, insofar as this is a team with very little outside shooting. Korver’s only averaging 6.8 points per game, but he’s still shooting .463 from the outside and is one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history. Subtracting him from the team only makes it harder to win games, they feel.
So, if I’m understanding this correctly, multiple Cavs would have preferred the team ignored Korver’s trade request and forced him to play for them, because without him it will be more difficult to replicate the incredible 3-12 record they had when he was in the lineup. What are we even doing here?
Hey, guys: Making it harder to win games is the point! Korver no longer wanted to play for Cleveland, because they are not good, and when you are not good, it is in your best interest to lose games and improve your chances of winning the draft lottery. This is why the Cavaliers informed Korver and J.R. Smith that their minutes would be reduced in favor of developing younger players. Winning is not the goal. Perhaps Smith’s teammates missed it when he publicly informed everyone of this last week.
Smith became such a vocal critic of the team’s direction that the Cavs opted to send him home, where he will collect paychecks until the team can find somebody willing to trade for him. Anybody on the team who is upset about this must have really thought Cleveland had a chance to make the playoffs.
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