Greetings! We’re (almost) done with our player profile series, but things continue today with sharp-shooting swingman, Kyle Korver. In case you missed it, check out our last profile, when we took a look at Atlanta’s own, Lou Williams. Let’s get right to it.
Let’s begin with the obvious. Kyle Korver is one of the best shooters on the planet. Last season, the 6-foot-7 swingman shot 45.7% from 3-point distance, which was good for 2nd in the league behind Jose Calderon, and he’s now converted on 41.5% or more of his 3’s in four consecutive seasons. Korver isn’t simply a 3-point specialist, though, as his numbers are incredible in the “mid-range” (47.5% on long 2’s last season) for good measure. There is basically no one in the league that I’d rather have shooting a spot-up jumper in any scenario.
Now that we’ve addressed that, the rest of Korver’s game is much better than most people believe. Many assume that Korver is a bad defensive player, but that’s simply not true. Bo Churney of HawksHoop wrote an entire piece last season about Korver’s quality defense, and he was spot-on. His Synergy numbers were very good last season on the whole last year, and he held his opponents to a PER rating far below the league average. I’ll stop short of saying that he’s some sort of “lockdown” guy, but the perception of him as a weakness in this area is simply off-base.
It isn’t all perfect for Korver, as he does struggle in any “playmaking” role and his rebounding rate is probably just average for what he’s asked to do. However, Korver is an example of a player who’s PER (13.93 last season) is very misleading to just how valuable he is, and I wholeheartedly supported his new 4-year contract valued at $24 million.
Role on the Roster
Korver is the absolute starter at one of the swingman positions. In the early going, it appears as if Mike Budenholzer will use Korver at the shooting guard spot with DeMarre Carroll at the 3, but when Lou Williams gets back (or if John Jenkins emerges), we’ll see a lot of Kyle at the small forward position.
He’s the best floor-spacer on a team that desperately needs one, and I’d expect to see him in the 30-minute per game range again. If anything, the new, more “open” offense should suit Korver, and if he can get free for more open looks, that’s a great thing.
It’s tough to predict that Korver will exceed (or even meet) his ridiculous shooting numbers from last season, but he’s certainly capable. You can go ahead and lock Korver in for a 40+% output from 3-point distance with solid defense, quality effort, and 10-12 points per game. I absolutely love Kyle Korver’s game, and the Hawks gain enormous value from everything that he does on the floor.
Stay tuned for the next installment, and be sure to check out all of our Hawks coverage!