Playing alongside LeBron James must be fun. On Sunday, sharpshooter Kyle Korver re-signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers on a three-year, $22 million deal according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. The third year is partially guaranteed.
Korver could have made more money elsewhere, but he wanted to remain in Cleveland and continue to play with the best basketball player in the world. Last season, he shot an NBA-best 45.1 percent from beyond the arc, including an impressive 48.5 percent after he was traded to the Cavs at the beginning of January.
During the first two rounds of the playoffs, against Indiana and Toronto, the sharpshooter was part of the lineup that proved to be the best on the court for the Cavs. When James played alongside the bench unit, one that included Korver, the wine and gold had an outrageous 124.4 offensive rating in the postseason, but that all changed in the Finals. Against the Warriors, Korver averaged just 4.4 points and shot 36.8 percent from the floor and 31.3 percent from three-point range. The Golden State Warriors were able to capitalize on Korver’s biggest weaknesses, his defense and forcing him to dribble rather than catch and shoot. Then again, who hasn’t been affected in a negatively due to the Warriors’ dominance.
While his new contract with the Cavs may be his highest annual pay of his career, just $7 million for a shooter like Korver is relatively inexpensive. Over the weekend, J.J. Redick signed a one-year, $23 million deal with the 76ers. At 36, Korver is just three weeks older than Redick and the two play similar games: shoot the deep ball. Redick is a bit better than Korver overall, but the fact that the Cavs were able to secure the sharpshooter for three years and $1 million less than Philadelphia signed Redick for just one year is quite impressive.
With Korver’s new contract, the Cavs’ salaries currently sit at more than $130 million in committed salaries for next season, which would result in $42.7 million in luxury taxes due to the team’s “repeater tax” penalty program. Keep in mind, the Cavs still have to fill three roster spots, so the team’s salary and luxury tax will only increase going forward.
Getting Korver back may not mean much when trying to improve their chances against the Golden State Warriors, but it was a much-needed signing given that the Cavs are so far over the NBA’s salary cap.
Through two days of free agency, the Cavs have now signed backup point guard Jose Calderon to a one-year deal and re-signed Korver. Not bad considering they don’t have an official head of their front office.