NBA sharpshooter Kyle Korver will be recruited by the Denver Nuggets this summer to address their woeful shooting deficiencies this season, according to a report from Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post.
Statistically, the move makes sense. Korver, who turns 32 later in March, stretches an offense and makes it harder for defenses to commit to a double team because he’s proven to have too quick of a release to be left unchecked. The Nuggets are one of the league’s worst shooting teams, both for mid-range jumpers and threes; from 16 feet out to the three-point line, they are collectively shooting 32.4 percent, and 33.8 percent from three, good for third-worst in the NBA. Korver, an unrestricted free agent with the Atlanta Hawks, is making $5 million this season, and is shooting 46.2 percent from beyond the arc this season. He is just a few years removed from breaking the NBA record for highest three-point shooting percentage in a season; in 2009-10, he shot 53.6 percent from downtown.
The Nuggets handled the Hawks 104-88 on Monday night but head coach George Karl said players like Korver, and the Milwaukee Bucks’ newly acquired guard, J.J. Redick, are becoming harder to come by in the NBA:
“You don’t have a lot of pin-down offenses anymore, for some reason the game’s gone to pick-and-roll and away from the execution of a pin-down. You’ve got (J.J.) Redick and some guys that come off of pin-downs but this kid right now moves without the ball as good as anybody in the NBA, and he will get his opportunity to be the first option in 10-15 minutes of the game that we’re going to have to be responsible and see how he’s shooting it. And then you can’t give them the open three, you can’t give him the ‘oh, what happened’ three. You’ve got to be ready. He’s a big part.”
In 31 minutes per game this season, Korver is averaging 11.5 points on 45 percent shooting, including 2.8 threes per game. In July, he was traded from the Chicago Bulls to the Hawks for guard Kirk Hinrich and trade and cash considerations.
Players cannot be contacted by other teams until the official free agency period begins July 1.