The dust has settled with NBA free agency. The big names are off the board, and a handful of significant trades have taken place. With that said, several impactful players remain on the open market such as Kyle Korver.
The veteran wing has been a member of three teams this offseason. In a trade for Mike Conley, the Utah Jazz sent Korver, along with others, to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies later traded Korver to the Phoenix Suns, where he was waived and is now an unrestricted free agent.
At 38, the veteran’s NBA days could be coming to a close in the coming years. However, in the meantime, he can still bolster a team’s offense. Here are three ideal free agent landing spots for Korver.
The Celtics two big moves this summer were signing All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and center Enes Kanter. But in a top-heavy Eastern Conference, they need more firepower if they want to win the conference. Korver would be a phenomenal fit in head coach Brad Stevens rotation.
Whether it be Walker, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, or Gordon Hayward, the Celtics have a lot of players who can flat-out score. They don’t have a lot of players who can drain outside jumpers, though. Last season Korver shot 39.7 percent from beyond the arc and is a career 42.9 percent shooter from said range. He spreads the floor as well as anyone in the NBA, a skill set which comes in handy in both full court and halfcourt sets.
The Celtics are going to be an aggressive scoring team who tries to play physical inside. Given the roster they’ve assembled, such an approach makes sense, but they still need players who can help out in other regards. Korver isn’t going to provide them with a stellar wing defender. What he can do is give Walker, or whoever is handling the ball, someone to kick the ball outside to when they get double-teamed, or a shot isn’t available.
If your offense is predictable, you won’t get far in the playoffs. Kyle Korver gives the Celtics a different dimension.
For the first time in a decade, the Warriors need outside shooting. Kevin Durant is gone, and Klay Thompson will miss the bulk of next season due to a torn ACL. Times are changing in the Bay Area, but the Warriors still have the tools to be a threat in the Western Conference; Kyle Korver would mesh well in their rotation.
Unlike years past, the Warriors are going to be rolling with two point guards often: Stephen Curry and D’Angelo Russell. In all likelihood, Curry will have the ball in his hands, but Russell is a ball-dominant player. Curry’s three-point shooting and Draymond Green’s scattered success from deep won’t be enough for head coach Steve Kerr’s rotation. Korver is the precise outside weapon they need.
Curry and Russell are going to be the Warriors top two scorers, and Green will be forced to hoist up more shots. Meanwhile, free agent signee Willie Cauley-Stein will be clogging up the paint. The Warriors need players who complement their skill sets, but, bigger than that, bring something different to the table. Korver would serve as a spot-up shooter. As Curry and Russell penetrate inside, Korver would create separation.
Korver is still one of the best spot-up shooters in the NBA and would be a secondary source of offense for a rotation that will heavily rely on its backcourt for scoring. Replacing Thompson’s production with Russell and Korver is impressive. And if Thompson plays this season, the Warriors rotation becomes deeper, and their title aspirations are enhanced.
The 76ers have endured one of the most expensive offseasons in the sport. Dishing out a combined $459 million to Tobias Harris, Al Horford, and Ben Simmons, they’ve put together a roster for the long haul, but it has its flaws. Korver is the final piece to the puzzle.
Simmons and Harris can get inside off the dribble, Horford can play in the post, and J0el Embiid can be unstoppable with the ball in his hands, but the 76ers lack pure shooters. Korver would provide them with much-needed separation. Sure, Josh Richardson is a respectable shooter, and Harris isn’t afraid to hoist up outside jumpers, but neither operate as deadeye shooters. They’re scorers. Plus, Harris is going to be relied on to score at a higher clip with Jimmy Butler gone.
The 76ers have arguably the most talented starting five in the NBA, as well as an intriguing bench. Adding Korver would make them the most talented team and perhaps the frontrunner to win the East. They can rebound, score, and defend. All they need is outside shooting, and getting Korver to sign on the dotted line would be one of the best value signings of the offseason. They’d be filling a void on their roster for a near-minimum salary.
Kyle Korver spent the first four and a half seasons of his career with the 76ers. He’d be an even better fit with them now than he was earlier this century.