Cleveland Cavaliers Finalizing Deal With Atlanta Hawks To Aquire Kyle Korver

Cavaliers have another marksman in their lineup after major trade.

CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) — Another sharpshooter on his way to Cleveland? Did Cavs General Manager David Griffin just pull another rabbit out of the hat? He sure did.

According to Yahoo Sports and several other sources, Cleveland is currently close to a deal with marksman guard Kyle Korver from the Atlanta Hawks. In return, the Cavs are sending a 2019 protected first-round pick and Mike Dunleavy.

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The deal has not been confirmed by either team and Dunleavy could land anywhere, depending on if another team gets in on the deal.

The Cavs are currently second in the league in three-point shooting (39.1%) and second in made threes per game (12.9).

This move at the quarter point of the season indicates that the Cavaliers, even though at the top of the Eastern Conference, are willing to drastically change the rotation of the team to continue to improve an already amp three-point arsenal. The Cavs have been hit hard with injuries to several key players and are willing to continue to dive into the trade market.

— Cavs guard has gone through it all to get to the grandest stage, meet Deandre Liggins–

Korver brings an additional weapon for superstar LeBron James to dish out to, but still leaves open the backup point guard spot on the roster. Many available names like guard Mario Chalmers, Deron Williams, and Jarrett Jack, are just some free agents that the Cavs could look at.

Korver gives the Cavs the ability to score at an even higher rate, although he did struggle with his shot as a starter with the Hawks, Coach Mike Budenholzer moved him to the bench and he thrived. Korver is average three more points (11.5) as a reserve and shooting a blistering 43% on threes.

The timing… could have been better for this guy…

https://twitter.com/DerekStepan/status/817174377397633024

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the story first.

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(PHOTO COURTESY TWITTER: KYLE KORVER)

DeAndre Liggins: Just Following His Brother’s Footsteps

CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) – Some of us have dreams of playing the sport we love, growing up watching the long road to success of some of our favorite sports players. What the casual fan does not see are the peaks and valleys that come with the road to making it to the top. For Cleveland Cavaliers forward DeAndre Liggins, the road to live his basketball dream was anything but easy.

Liggins, born in Chicago, Illinois, is a product of the University of Kentucky, where he played under Coach John Calipari for two seasons.  He also played at George Washington High School in Chicago as a junior, before transferring to Findley College Prep to prepare for the NBA game. Liggins had all the tools to be a great player, that Coach Calipari once said that “his unbelievable effort is starting to rub off on his teammates,” according to his biography on Kentucky basketball’s website.

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As Liggins was just growing up as a teen in 2002, tragedy struck when his brother, 18-year-old Maurice Davis, a college basketball prodigy, was shot and killed following a schoolyard fistfight regarding a domestic dispute. Liggins, only 14 years old at the time, just lost his father a few months prior due to a diabetic coma. He grew up in a tough environment in the south side of Chicago with his grandmother, where high school coaches were told that he would never graduate, due to academic issues. After losing his best friend to violence, Liggins felt like he had no other choice but to carry on his brother’s legacy.

“I felt like I was alone,” said Liggins to Yahoo Sports. “When he died, I felt like I had to carry on his dream. This is what he wanted to do. I’m living his dream for him. Hopefully I’ll make him proud.”

Liggins did everything to make his brother proud, from having his brother teach him to dribble by posting up a small plastic basketball hoop on a closet door, to wearing his No. 34 at Kentucky to honor is brother, he was playing in his brother’s honor. To start his career, he was a star from the get-go at George Washington, posting a stat line of 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. In the 2011 Elite Eight, Liggins hit the late 3-pointer against North Carolina to catapult Kentucky to its first Final Four apperance since 1998. The kid had a special talent and was bound to play in the NBA.

After impressing several teams with his gritty style of play, Liggins was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2011. In his first season, he struggled mightily to adjust to the NBA game. In 2012, then was picked up by the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he received praise from superstar Kevin Durant. “He’s a workhorse, man. I love him.” said Durant to SI.com. “You can tell he’s a guy that’s tough and has been that way his whole life.”

After the 2013 season, it was tough for Liggins to find a home. He was involved in a domestic violence case, that led to several trips to the NBA D-League to continue to work on his craft and take care of his off the court problems. Fast forward to 2016, Liggins was signed by the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers and took the 15th roster spot over veteran guard Dahntay Jones.

— An Akron native now in the NBA celebrates 24th birthday this month! More here.– 

The Cavaliers were without a true backup point guard, as Matthew Dellavedova signed with the Milwaukee Bucks for a long-term contract. That’s where young forward DeAndre Liggins stepped in.

At the quarter season point, guard J.R. Smith broke his thumb and was subjected to return in 3-4 months. Liggins had proven to coach Tyronn Lue he was worth the last spot on the roster. He also had to show superstar LeBron James he could play the game.

In his starting role with the Cavaliers at shooting guard, Liggins has been a gritty pest to opposing teams. In the Cavaliers rematch against the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day, Liggins was assigned to guard superstar point guard Stephen Curry. Curry only shot 4-11 for 15 points with three turnovers. Liggins was in Curry’s face the entire night.

The Cavaliers’ defense has also mightily stepped up since Liggins was moved into the starting lineup,  boasting a 100.5 defensive rating. The defense is important for the Cavs, especially when dealing with injuries and illnesses to several other key players. Liggins’ ability to play with the Cavaliers at a fast pace caught the eye of James.

“Right now he’s doing what he is comfortable with doing and what he’s comfortable with doing is picking somebody up 96 feet,” said James to local reporters. “The court is only 94 [feet].”

James compared Liggins to Dellavedova, and how ‘Delly’ found his role with the team and stuck with it. “It’s been a diamond in the rough for us and we are happy to have him.”

As Liggins’ career progressed, the one positive factor in his mind was how could he play the game of basketball, in honor of his brother, but still deal with the pressures of making it to the NBA?

The kid from Chicago, Illinois, that nobody said would make it, is on the biggest stage of them all, with the reigning NBA champions, and loves his role. Liggins has overcome many odds in his life, but is always grateful for the chance the Cavaliers gave him. That’s all he wanted. A chance to the play the game he was born to play.

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(photo: nba.com)

RGIII To Start In Injury Return Sunday

After mission the majority of 2016 due to injury, Griffin returns as starter.

Cleveland, OH (TM216) – The Cleveland Browns (0-12) have been searching for their first win, as well as a starting quarterback, for the entire season. Head coach Hue Jackson officially named Robert Griffin III that starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals (4-7-1). Jackson told reporters yesterday that he feels Robert Griffin III still has the chance to prove he’s the Browns answer at quarterback.

“RGIII” stands tall at 6’2′ 218 pounds. A Baylor product, his career was outlined to be the next Michael Vick. His freshman year with the Washington Redskins was outstanding–over 3,200 passing yards with a 65% completion percentage–then the injuries piled on. After spending four seasons with the Reskins, Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson, picked him up. Sadly, most of the time he has been on the ground from a sack or on an injury table

Unfortunately, due to the lack of offensive line help, and RGIII’s habit of running out of the pocket, he only lasted one game with Browns in 2017. He was sacked 3 times, with a QBR rating of 22.2. Not exactly the product Jackson was hoping for.

“The fact that we are putting him out there this week says that he has a chance,” said Jackson to reporters.”I’ve only seen him really play for a full game this season.”

Jackson is not hoping for perfection, he just wants to evaluate the offensive talent he has heading into next season. RGIII told local reporters that he plans to go out there and make the coaches believe he still has something left.

“That’s always been my focus is to come in here and show my teammates that I can do this for them,” said Griffin. “If we all do our job equally, we can go out there and win football games, and that’s the bottom line.”

The bottom line is that the Browns are still searching for the first win of the season. The Cincinatti Bengals come into Sunday’s game off a big win against the Philadelphia Eagles, 32-14. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 2 TD’s and dismantled an already struggling Eagles defense. The Browns will have to stop Cincinnati’s passing attack with strong man-to-man coverages.

The Browns are at the point in the season where a win would seem like a Superbowl victory to them, but to Cleveland sports fans, it’s just another year the Browns have sadly wasted.

“It’s important [to evaluate him] but it’s important that he’s able to go out there and play well – not just play but well,” said Jackson.

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(Photo courtesy Twitter: RGIII)

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Cleveland State Women’s Basketball Announces New Assistant Coach

CLEVELAND, OH (TM216) –  Cleveland State University women’s basketball team has hired long-time coaching veteran, Kevin McManaman, to their 2016-2017 coaching staff. McManaman, who has 23 years of collegiate coaching experience, hopes to bring some leadership to a very young team with only two listed seniors on the roster in Chrishna Butler and Alexis Eckles.

imageHead coach Kate Peterson Abiad told Cleveland State basketball reporters that McManaman will provide veteran leadership, as well as hope the program grow.

“We are very fortunate to bring Kevin to Cleveland State,” said Peterson Abiad. “Kevin is a person of high integrity and cares very much about the experience and growth of this program.”

Since McManaman was brought on to the coaching staff, Cleveland State is 4-4, scoring an average of 64.4 points per game. The players seem to be adjusting to newly hired coach well over the last 8 games. With a fairly young team, it’s important that they rebound from a dismal 9-20 regular season record.

To illustrate some of McManaman’s long resume, his most recent stint is with the University of Northern Illinois, where he spent three seasons there as an assistant coach. Before his time with Northern Illinois, he allocated nine years of coaching experience with the UIC Flames in the Horizon league, ascending the Flames to the top of the league. Under him, 13 players earned All-League honors at UIC.

Photo Courtesy of: NIU Today     

Cavs Prepare For Knicks Showdown

NEW YORK, NY (TM216) – After coming off a big win on Monday against Eastern Conference rivals, the Toronto Raptors, the Cavaliers (14-5) face another hot team in the New York Knicks (12-9) tonight at 8 EST on ESPN/FSO. The Knicks come into tonight’s game on a four-game winning streak. They are also (9-3) at home. The Cavaliers will have their hands full, as this is not the same Knicks team they faced in their home opener.

To make matters worse for the Cavaliers, guard J.R. Smith is listed as questionable with a left knee hyperextension, suffering the injury in the beginning of the game against Toronto. An MRI showed no structural damage to the knee. Even though Smith has struggled to score–averaging only 7.8 ppg–he provides good defense and gives the Cavaliers a scoring option other than the “Big Three.”

“I just landed wrong,” Smith told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Was just trying to shoot my normal floater and I came down on it wrong.”

Forward LeBron James also comes into tonight’s game banged up, having landed on his left knee wrong after an alley-oop play in the first quarter against Toronto. He was able to finish the game and told reporters that the key is to “get around the clock treatment and be ready for Wednesday.”

The Cavs problem to kick the season off has been their lack of bench production, as well as playing sound defense for 48 minutes. The Knicks give up 106 points per game so the key will be to attack the basket and work out to the three-point line for open shots.

Forward Mike Dunleavy, who the Cavs picked up as a three-point option in the offseason, had major spine surgery last season. This could be the reason for his limited production. The Cavaliers are also currently without a listed backup point guard, as Kay Felder is still getting used to the pro game.

Guard Derrick Rose is listed as uncertain for tonight’s game after suffering back spasms in the Knicks’ 114-103 victory over the Miami Heat.

We would like to hear your predictions for tonight’s game! Follow us on Twitter @ThatsMy216 or like us on Facebook by search ThatsMy216!