Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks small forward Kyle Korver (26) attempts a three over Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) in the first half of game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time in several years, the Atlanta Hawks had an elite, dead-eye shooter to utilize against packed-in NBA defenses. Kyle Korver was brought in before the 2012-2013 campaign (in a trade with the Chicago Bulls), and he played extremely well in his debut season with the club. On Wednesday morning, Korver shared with the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore that he would like to stay in Atlanta going forward.
When asked if it would be amenable to remain in Atlanta after he becomes a free agent on July 1st, Korver said:
"Yes. I really enjoyed by year here in Atlanta. I enjoyed the team. I enjoyed the organization. I believe Danny Ferry is going to do some great things here. I really think he is. I think it’s a great opportunity to bring in guys who are going to play fun basketball. I know the vision that he has, you know the kind of basketball that he likes to watch. I think he is going to bring in those types of guys. I like the same basketball that he likes. I’m very open to coming back here."
That certainly sounds like a player who would love to stay put, and if the price is right, Atlanta should certainly pursue that option. Korver was 2nd in the NBA in three-point percentage (45.7%) and 4th in total three-pointers made (189) to account for arguably the best statistical season of his career. At age 32, it was Korver’s first opportunity for significant playing time (i.e. as a starter) since he was a young player in Philadelphia, and he certainly took advantage.
It may be unreasonable to expect Korver’s salary to stay in the same base range ($5 million) that he made this season, but with only four players under contact for next season (Al Horford, Jeff Teague, John Jenkins, Mike Scott), Korver would be a worthwhile investment if the cost is manageable. As the Hawks are embroiled in a big decision regarding the direction of the head coach position, Korver is a player who would fit into any system, and with the premium that is placed on shooting in today’s NBA, I would love to see Korver in a Hawks uniform for the next couple of seasons.