Here’s a list of players in NBA history who’ve made at least 2,400 three-pointers: Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, Stephen Curry, and Kyle Korver. The first three guys have carved out superstar careers. As for Korver? He is more known as a specialist and never the main guy. But being in the company of Hall of Fame shooters only goes to show that he’s pretty special as well.
He is now an unrestricted free agent after playing out his one-year veteran minimum deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. He only averaged 16.6 minutes, the least since his rookie season in 2003-2004, and put up 6.7 points and 2.1 rebounds. He is already 39 years old and has clearly slowed down. Korver, however, remains as one of the biggest outside threats in the NBA, and with the game stretching more and more to the three-point area, Kyle Korver can still be an asset to any team.
Korver said he’d discuss with his family first before deciding on his next step, while the Bucks are on a wait-and-see approach. But if he decides to leave, here are three ideal destinations for the sweet-sniping forward.
New York Knicks
If Korver doesn’t mind spending his farewell years with a losing record, an easy pick would be the Knicks, who were a disaster from the three-point line this season. They averaged a league-worst 9.6 makes from deep at an anemic 33.7 percent shooting. While Korver may not dramatically increase those numbers, he could definitely help. Watching the Knicks miss wide-open three-pointers all season was as painful as watching the last season of Game of Thrones.
For what it’s worth, the Knicks have able playmakers in Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina, and RJ Barrett. They could set up Korver for outside shots off the bench, something the team has lacked for years now. He could also open the floor more for Julius Randle and Bobby Portis, who have the ability to attack from the inside. If they attract defenders in the post, Kyle Korver would be the perfect outlet. Just imagine the Madison Square Garden going crazy whenever he drains one from long range.
Joining the Knicks will also reunite Korver with his former coach in Tom Thibodeau. They spent two seasons together in those memorable Chicago Bulls squads that went deep in the NBA Playoffs. Thibodeau gave Korver all the confidence to shoot and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he does the same if they work together again in the Big Apple.
While the Nuggets played exceptional in this year’s NBA Playoffs, with Jamal Murray having his coming-out party and Nikola Jokic continuing his stellar all-around play, it also became clear that they lacked ample shooters. Gary Harris couldn’t sink a three-point shot to save his life, Michael Porter Jr. was inconsistent at best, while Jerami Grant, Torrey Craig, and Monte Morris all shot below 33 percent.
While it could be difficult for Korver to earn major minutes on a deep Nuggets team, his addition will surely bolster the roster nonetheless. He could give a jolt off the bench just by planting himself beyond the arc and waiting for emergency kick-outs or extra passes. Korver has never been a fantastic one-on-one player, so he will just continue the same role he’s done for the last 18 seasons—which safe to say, he’s done pretty well. The Nuggets averaged 27.2 assists this season, so moving the ball around to find spot-up shooters is not an issue.
The Nuggets only averaged 11.0 three-pointers this season, which is tied for sixth-worst in the NBA. Yet, they still notched the third seed in the stacked Western Conference. It feels like they’re one shooter away from getting over the hump, and an experienced guy like Korver could be that key missing piece.
Los Angeles Lakers
Why not? Korver is still hoping to win his first NBA title before he rides off into the sunset. So why not join a team that just won it? The Lakers have a laundry list of free agents and they might not get to re-sign them all. There might be room for the former Creighton standout. Again, he’ll have his work cut out for him finding minutes with fellow outside specialists Danny Green, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and JR Smith on the roster. But he could still provide a lift, especially when the aforementioned guys are having one of their slumps.
He would have a field day getting open shots with LeBron James and Anthony Davis attracting defenses like sugar drawing out ants. Korver is familiar with how LBJ operates from their stint together with the Cleveland Cavaliers so transitioning won’t be a problem. If Jared Dudley found a way to contribute to the Purple and Gold, there’s no reason for Korver not to do the same. He’s a better shooter and is an underrated defender.
Kyle Korver thought he had a good chance of finally winning a ring with the Milwaukee Bucks this season. But they fell short. He got close twice with the Wine and Gold after reaching the NBA Finals. But again, zilch. Joining the Lakers could be last his good chance.