Former Utah Jazz fan favorite Kyle Korver is reportedly being shopped by the Cleveland Cavaliers. But don’t hold your breath on a reunion in Salt Lake City.
The best part about the NBA is that whether we’re in the middle of the offseason, the start of the regular season or in the dog days of the year, there’s truly never a dull moment. Between exciting on-court action to exhilarating drama off the court, it seems there’s always something thrilling to follow.
So far, the 1-6 Cleveland Cavaliers, who just picked up their first win of the season on Tuesday night, are one of those exciting teams to keep an eye on. No, not because of their on-court prowess (or lack thereof I should probably say), but because of the drama surrounding the team that could be in for a complete overhaul.
That began with the firing of head coach Tyronn Lue just a few games into the season. Now, it appears that Cleveland will look to make roster changes to help position itself for a major rebuild. As such, one of the names to reportedly appear on the trade block is that of former Utah Jazz fan favorite Kyle Korver.
Several news outlets across the web have reported that the Cavs are actively shopping Kyle Korver, and could be looking to move other players as well. Korver was very much beloved during his time as a Jazzman as a reliable sharpshooter and hustler extraordinaire. At 37 years old, he’s certainly past his prime, but the one thing Korver can still do is stretch the floor and splash 3-point shots. And man, can he do it well.
Korver has shot over 40 percent from deep in eight of the past nine seasons, and an astounding 43.1 percent from distance for his career. He’s one of the league’s most renowned true shooters, and although he’s certainly lost a step in other areas, the nice thing about Korver is that he’s always dialed in and always gives everything he’s got.
In his younger years, he was once an underrated defender, now he’s probably just a lackluster one. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Kyle always puts his full effort into that end of the floor. I love his basketball IQ and his dedication to do everything in his power to make a team better.
As such, I’d love to see him reunited with his former Utah Jazz squad. There was a lot of speculation that the Jazz needed and were going to add shooters this offseason, and although they didn’t, I still think additional 3-point threats could be key to opening up their offense. The Jazz are just 14th in the league in 3-point percentage so far this year at 36.6 percent, and finished 12th last season at an identical 36.6 percent.
That’s not an awful mark by any means, but certainly a trend that could use improvement, especially as Utah aims to establish themselves as one of the most dangerous teams in the West. Adding a sharpshooter like Korver to Utah’s bench would help them take an instant leap in that area.
Of course, there is the question about Korver’s defense which could make it hard for him to see the floor for the Jazz. But as I mentioned earlier, I believe he can be a solid team defender and his effort and discipline alone help make up for some of the physical tools he lacks.
Adding his shooting and veteran savvy as well as enjoying the return of one of the all-time beloved Utah Jazz players would be an awesome move that I’d truly love to see. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t count on it happening.
First off, the Jazz stood pat this summer largely because they wanted to rely on continuity making them a staunch team. As such, I have a hard time seeing them making any trades, especially this early in the year, that would change that course. Honestly, adding Korver probably wouldn’t rock the boat all that much as he’s been an awesome teammate throughout his career, but it probably isn’t worth shaking things up when it wouldn’t make the Jazz all that much better (if at all).
Ironically enough, the Jazz could trade the oft-injured Alec Burks straight up for Kyle Korver and salaries would work for both sides. However, even if the Cavs were willing to take Burks on for his expiring contract, I doubt Utah would want to shed financial flexibility to be tied to Korver’s $7.5 million for an extra year.
Not only that, but besides Burks, there’s really no one else that makes sense in a trade for Utah, and although Burks has lost Quin Snyder’s trust in the past and has really never lived up to his current contract, the Jazz may want to still see what they can get out of him this year. He looked great during preseason and was helpful in last year’s playoffs to the point that exchanging him for a guy like Korver probably wouldn’t make all that much sense.
Not to mention, at the very least Burks is on an expiring contract, as I mentioned, so even if he underperforms this year, the Jazz wouldn’t have to worry about his salary hindering them next year. If Burks is to be dealt, I bet it wouldn’t occur until much closer to the trade deadline when the Utah front office was looking to tantalize a team into taking on his soon-to-expire contract.
So as much as I’d love to see a stand-up guy and formidable sharpshooter like Kyle Korver be magically transported on the Utah Jazz roster, it isn’t a move that’s likely to take place. The Jazz aren’t ones to make knee-jerk reaction moves, and while us fans may love the sentiment of a former player returning to his old team, the organizations are about winning, not nostalgia.
That said, I wouldn’t be one bit surprised to see Kyle Korver traded to a new team in the not-too-distant future. Though his fit due to contract length, age and skill set may not be exactly what the Jazz are looking for, his 3-point shooting prowess is enough to make him valuable to a number of teams short on prolific shooting wings (I’m looking at you, OKC).
Therefore, while it’s highly unlikely that Korver will end up in a Jazz uniform anew, don’t be shocked to see him donning a new jersey sooner rather than later as the struggling Cavs look to hit the reset button moving forward.