Celtics

NBA rumors: Cavs trade Kyle Korver to Jazz for Alec Burks, draft picks

usatsi_11738647.jpg
Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images

NBA rumors: Cavs trade Kyle Korver to Jazz for Alec Burks, draft picks

The Utah Jazz are failing to meet expectations and their offense is struggling, so they dipped into the trade market Wednesday to acquire Kyle Korver from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here's what the Jazz gave up for Korver, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Jazz rank 26th in the NBA with 105.5 points scored per game. They also rank 29th in 3-point percentage. 

Korver is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league and has plenty of playoff experience. He's already spent two-plus seasons in Utah from 2007-08 through 2009-10.

Burks was the No. 12 overall pick in the 2011 draft, but he never quite lived up to expectations with the Jazz. He's averaging 8.4 points per game this season and is on an expiring contract.

Utah is 9-12 in 14th place in the Western Conference standings entering Wednesday, but it's still just 5.5 games behind first place.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Celtics' Gordon Hayward explains why defense will be 'huge emphasis' in NBA restart

Celtics' Gordon Hayward explains why defense will be 'huge emphasis' in NBA restart

The Boston Celtics have been one of the NBA's best defensive teams during the 2019-20 season, and they'll need to continue that strong play to make a deep playoff run in Orlando.

The league will resume its season later this month at Walt Disney World Resort, where 22 teams are scheduled to play eight additional seeding games before 16 clubs will take part in a normal four-round playoffs using the Best-of-7 format. 

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

It's going to take time for players to regain their chemistry with teammates after having several months away from each other amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This scenario is among the reasons why Celtics forward Gordon Hayward feels that defense will be more important than ever when games begin.

"I think we're all going to learn what's the most important thing heading into a shortened season, or what do you need the most," Hayward told reporters in a video conference call Friday. "I think there's going to be a huge emphasis on defense, because without a doubt the offense might be a bit further behind just as far as -- we haven't played together, we haven't been with each other. And that usually takes time, that takes a season to kind of get your groove going to where by the end of the year, you know exactly the plays that work really well, where you're going to get your shots. You have this great rythmn that you get into -- this zone you get into.

"I'm confident we'll get into that, but it certainly takes a lot longer than the defensive side, where I think our versatility should help us a lot. I think our depth should help us a lot, especially on (the defensive) end. If our offense is maybe not as crisp at first, we'll give ourselves a chance by being really tough defensively. So that for sure will be an emphasis for us and other teams as well."

The Celtics rank fourth in defensive rating (106.2) and they've allowed the second-fewest points per game (106.8), while also ranking fourth in defensive field goal percentage (44.2), third in defensive 3-point percentage (34.2) and 11th in rebounds per game (44.3). 

Hayward is absolutely right -- Boston's versatility on defense is a huge advantage. Hayward, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart all are capable of guarding three or more positions. This means they can switch most pick-and-rolls and not get caught in too many mismatches. It's a great luxury for a coach, particularly in an era where small-ball lineups are everywhere.

The Celtics are capable of outscoring teams as well. In fact, they are the only team in the league with three players averaging 20-plus points per game. But if the C's are going to make a deep run in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the defensive end of the floor likely will be the reason they succeed. 

Why Gordon Hayward might miss time with Celtics after entering NBA's Orlando bubble

countdown_gordon_hayward.jpg
USA TODAY Sports photo

Why Gordon Hayward might miss time with Celtics after entering NBA's Orlando bubble

Gordon Hayward and his wife Robyn have three children with a fourth on the way in September. 

Hayward said he has been at the birth of the first three. 

And he’ll be there for the birth of child No. 4 even as the Celtics start gearing up for the restart to the NBA season that will have Hayward and the rest of his teammates in Orlando, Fla. potentially into the month of October. 

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

Hayward, in a conference call with reporters on Friday, said he will leave the bubble in Orlando to be with his wife to welcome their first son into the world. 

Having spent the past three months almost exclusively with his wife and three daughters, Hayward acknowledged he’ll miss not being around them when he’s sequestered in Orlando along with his teammates. 

A number of NBA players gave serious consideration to not returning to play for health concerns amid the coronavirus, or to continue amplifying the conversations about racism sparked by the death of George Floyd. 

“For a lot of people in the NBA, it’s a difficult decision,” Hayward said of returning to complete the season which was suspended on March 12. “To compete for a championship, compete for a title … we want to finish something we worked hard for all year.”

And for the Celtics to be among the last teams standing, they will need Hayward to continue building off of a season in which he was as close to being “All-Star” Gordon as we’ve seen since coming to Boston. 

Hayward averaged 17.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game this season while shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 39.2 percent from 3-point range. 

And now there’s a chance that the Celtics will be without Hayward for some portion of the postseason due to the birth of his fourth child. 

As important as Hayward's presence and play may be to Celtics fans and to his teammates, this global pandemic that we are still in the midst of has taught many lessons about what really matters most. 

Some within our society don’t get it. 

Glad to see Hayward isn’t one of them by making it 100 percent clear where he stands by prioritizing what matters most in the grand scheme of things — family.