Kyle Korver Rumors
June 9 at 11:04am CST By Zach Links
Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News has tons of interesting bits in his latest column and we have the highlights..
- There has been talk about the Nets looking for a “fresh face" rather than going with an established coach and Italian coach Ettore Messina would fit the bill, along with Pacers assisstant Brian Shaw. A group of Russian Nets executives who report to Mikhail Prokhorov is quite familiar with Messina, which could help his candidacy. Communication also won't be an issue for Messina as he speaks English fluently. “Players will find that Ettore has the technical mind to do the job, he can do the X’s and O’s, so strategically, it would not be hard for him at all,’’ said Spurs GM R.C. Buford.
- The Pacers know they need outside shooting help and would love to add Kyle Korver or J.J. Redick. Both players, of course, will be free agents on July 1. The club's other free agents, Tyler Hansbrough and D.J. Augustin, are expendable, which can give them some extra breathing space this offseason.
- David Stern plans to step down from the competition committee - which has the power to make rules changes - once he's done being commissioner. Lawrence's bet, however, is that he’ll still be used by the committee as a consultant.
- Lionel Hollins wants to paint Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger like the bad guy if he doesn’t get a new deal in Memphis, but people in the NBA feel that he hasn’t done anything to bounce Hollins and get the job for himself. The Memphis front office doesn’t want Hollins back unless it’s on the cheap and he starts buying into the club's statistical analysis.
- New Raptors GM Masai Ujiri wants to hire Bucks assistant GM Jeff Weltman to be his top assistant. Weltman and former Knick president Scott Layden were up for the Suns gig that went to Ryan McDonough.
May 21 at 9:07pm CST By Alex Lee
Here are some notes from the only division in the East with no team left standing:
- While the timing is unclear, C.J. Watson's former agent, Jared Karnes, confirmed that Watson is now represented by Excel Sports, tweets Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Watson, who played 19 minutes per game for the Nets this year, owns a player option for the league minimum next season and told Bondy last month he'd love to return to Brooklyn.
- Besides Masai Ujiri and Kevin Pritchard - names that we've already heard - the Raptors are also considering Rick Sund for their newly available general manager position, report Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today.
- In the wake of the Knicks playoff exit this weekend, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News offers his thoughts, via Twitter, on what Glen Grunwald and company must do in the offseason to improve. While they are hindered by cap issues, Isola tweets that the Knicks should try to find a way to add unrestricted free agent Kyle Korver, and then draft a point guard or a big man in June. Isola also tweets that he believes Jason Kidd's time in New York is over, despite what Grunfeld said, but hopes the team persuades Pablo Prigioni to stay.
- According to his agent, James White is unlikely to return to the Knicks next season if they don't pick up his option, reports Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York. William McCandless, White's agent, is confident that his client will garner NBA interest this offseason but because White values playing time, he has no problem going back overseas to continue his career.
May 6 at 1:19pm CST By Luke Adams
After the Pacers took a 1-0 lead over the Knicks with a win in New York yesterday, the second Eastern Conference Semifinal will get underway tonight, as the Heat play their first game since April 28th. As we look forward to the first game in the Bulls/Heat series, let's round up a few items from out of the Eastern Conference....
- The Hawks are facing a potential roster overhaul this summer, but Louis Williams, one of just three players on a guaranteed contract, says he's looking forward to playing with the other two (Al Horford and John Jenkins) next season. Williams also told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he'd be glad to help recruit free agents if he's asked.
- Two Hawks free agents, Zaza Pachulia and Kyle Korver, are interested in re-signing with the team, as Vivlamore and Jeff Schultz write in a separate Journal Constitution piece. According to Korver, the Hawks have expressed interest in bringing him back.
- Now that the Rockets are out of the playoffs, assistant Kelvin Sampson figures to receive plenty of phone calls from teams seeking a new head coach. Charles F. Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Sampson has an interview lined up for Thursday with the Bucks, and that the 76ers and Bobcats have also requested permission to speak to him.
- With the Nets searching for a new head coach, Deron Williams indicated he wouldn't be opposed to playing for ex-Jazz coach Jerry Sloan again, and Sloan says he'd be open to the idea as well, writes Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com. "I'm open, I would listen," Sloan said of the Nets. "I haven't did the research on their roster, but I would definitely listen if they called."
- Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show today, the Nets' former coach, P.J. Carlesimo, said he doesn't think a first-round Nets victory would have saved his job. "I think short of winning a championship, it wouldn't have made any difference," Carlesimo said, according to Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. "I mean, [GM] Billy [King] was pretty candid....
I think anything short of winning a championship wasn't going to change his mind or [ownership's] mind."
April 24 at 1:51pm CST By Luke Adams
In his NBA AM piece for HoopsWorld on Monday, Steve Kyler explored the upcoming free agencies for a number of point guards on playoff teams. Today, Kyler turns his attention to the shooting guards in the postseason who could be hitting the free agent market this summer. Let's round up the notable tidbits from his piece....
- The Hawks could have interest in retaining Kyle Korver, but he also won't be the team's top priority, so Korver could accept a multiyear offer from a rival suitor before Atlanta is ready to finalize anything with him. I touched on this when I examined Korver's free agent stock last month.
- Marco Belinelli may not be back in Chicago next season, since the Bulls will be looking to upgrade the two-guard spot, according to Kyler.
- Tony Allen has good relationships with Zach Randolph and Lionel Hollins, which could be a factor if he's deciding whether or not to re-sign with the Grizzlies. However, he'd want to know whether Randolph or Hollins are part of the front office's long-term plan in Memphis, says Kyler.
- Kyler suggests that Lance Stephenson and Willie Green, who have non-guaranteed contracts with the Pacers and Clippers respectively, could make for interesting trade chips if their teams decided to pair them with another asset.
- One of the Bucks' reasons for acquiring J.J. Redick at the trade deadline was to give the team insurance in free agency, so that the team can still retain two starting guards if one of Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis, or Redick receives an offer Milwaukee doesn't want to match.
April 2 at 4:57pm CST By Chuck Myron
Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times touches on several juicy topics from around the league in his latest piece. We'll hit the highlights here:
- Former Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley has been in a coma for more than a month, and prospects for his recovery from a February stroke are "extremely bleak," Woelfel reports. Heisley was nearing a deal to join the Bucks ownership group with the intention of becoming the primary owner in a few years, but current primary owner Herb Kohl backed out of the deal, according to Woelfel, who adds that Kohl is still open to finding a partner.
- We heard before the deadline that the Hawks wanted a "quality young center" in return for Josh Smith, but the Bucks deemed Larry Sanders and power forwards Ersan Ilyasova and John Henson off-limits as the teams engaged in talks.
- Woelfel heard from Smith, who adds the Hornets to the lengthy list of teams that were after him at the deadline.
- The Bucks would have made additional trades if they had acquired Smith, and they had interest in Eric Maynor, who wound up going from the Thunder to the Blazers.
- Woelfel spoke to Kyle Korver, who indicates the Hawks are in the driver's seat when he hits free agency this summer. "I’m definitely hoping to stay here (with Atlanta)," Korver said. "It’s been a great experience. And we have an awesome coach (Larry Drew) to play for."
- Some NBA scouts believe Georgia shooting guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope could wind up being drafted at the back end of the lottery this year. He's listed as No. 38 on the DraftExpress top-100 prospects list, and No. 20 in ESPN's rankings.
March 30 at 11:56am CST By Zach Links
Last night, Heat president Pat Riley released an official statement to the press that wasn't fit to print regarding Celtics president Danny Ainge. Ainge said that it was "almost embarrassing" that LeBron James complained about the hard fouls he received during the club's loss to the Bulls, and Riley fired back in defense of his star. "[Ainge] needs to shut the [expletive] up and manage his own team. He was the biggest whiner when he was playing, and I know that because I coached against him," said Riley, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Was there more to that comment than meets the eye? Here's more on that and other notes out of the Southeast..
- The aim of Riley's comment was to show his loyalty to James, who can become a free agent in the summer of 2014, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com. While the image-conscious James was reluctant to attach himself to Riley's profane language, he was clearly appreciative of the gesture. "It was big-time to see that," James said after the Heat's win over New Orleans.
- The Hawks' Kyle Korver will be a free agent in demand, writes Stephen Brotherston of HoopsWorld. The veteran believes that he has a good four or five years left and wants to spend them with a winning team.
- Chris Kaman could have been a free agent target for the Heat this summer, but it won't happen after recent comments made in a radio interview, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. "I’m not much of a Dwyane Wade fan, but I’m a [James] fan..I just never really got along with (Dwyane Wade). I guess I just don’t like his style or whatever. I didn’t like the year the Mavs lost when he got all the foul calls. I didn’t like that," Kaman told 104.1 FM The Ticket.
March 16 at 2:56pm CST By Chuck Myron
Among the items in Sam Amico's leaguewide roundup for Fox Sports Ohio today, he passes along that "word is" the Hawks will make re-signing Josh Smith and Kyle Korver their top priorities in the summer. If they prove to be out of Atlanta's price range, the team is likely to try to sign-and-trade one or both of those players.
Smith made headlines earlier this season when he said he felt he was deserving of a maximum-salary contract, but more recently clarified that his statements were in response to a question and not meant as a pronouncement ahead of this summer's negotiations. Nonetheless, it seems likely he'll go after a max deal, which would be worth nearly $100MM from the Hawks and a little more than $74MM if he signed with another team. Since Amico's report indicates there's a limit on how much they'll spend to retain Smith, it doesn't look like they're willing to give him the full max. They might be open to structing the deal so that Smith gets more than the $74MM he could get from another club, however, retaining their financial advantage over the rest of the league, but that's just my speculation.
Korver isn't nearly the player Smith is, but he leads the league with a 45.9% three-point percentage, and figures to have no shortage of suitors this summer. The Nuggets are already reportedly targeting Korver, who's expressed a willingness to consider a return to the Jazz and Bulls, two of his former teams. When Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors examined Korver's free agent stock earlier this month, he wrote that an offer somewhere in the neighborhood of the full mid-level exception, which includes a first-year salary of $5.15MM, might get a deal done.
The Hawks will have plenty of room under the cap to sign Smith, Korver and others this summer, when they'll have little more than $18.5MM in commitments. It appears GM Danny Ferry and company plan to be judicious with that room and aren't dead-set on re-signing any of their players if they're putting a limit on how high they'll go for the two men they count as their top priorities. That they would consider a sign-and-trade for both Smith and Korver could suggest that they don't want to rely completely on building next season's roster with free agents from other teams.
March 12 at 5:37pm CST By Luke Adams
A few Tuesday evening odds and ends from around the NBA:
- Kyle Korver will hit unrestricted free agency this summer, and he's looking forward to going through the process, as he tells Lang Greene of HoopsWorld. "It’s nothing to dread about it," Korver said. "Your wife wants to know where she’s going to live next year and I do too, obviously…. It’s an exciting time but right now you have to take care of the games you have in front of you and let July take care of July." I examined Korver's free agent stock last week.
- With Dwight Howard returning to Orlando for the first time since being traded last August, Tom Ziller of SBNation.com notes that the package acquired by GM Rob Hennigan and the Magic in that deal is no longer being questioned.
- As David Lee and the Warriors faced the Amare Stoudemire-less Knicks last night, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News tweeted that ex-Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni wanted the team to re-sign Lee in the summer of 2010 rather than pursuing Stoudemire.
- Pointing out that Robert Sarver and the Suns were also willing to offer Stoudemire a max contract in 2010, but only if he met certain minutes-played thresholds, Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic says the Suns made the right call.
- Renaldo Balkman's lifetime ban from the Philippines' professional basketball league has been reduced to one year, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.
March 7 at 4:52pm CST By Luke Adams
When the Hawks acquired Kyle Korver from the Bulls last July, the trade essentially amounted to a cash dump for Chicago. All the Bulls received in exchange for Korver was cash and a trade exception that remains unused. From Korver's perspective though, the deal presented him with the chance to play more minutes than he has in years, and he's taken full advantage of that opportunity.
For the first time since 2005/06, Korver is a fixture in his team's starting lineup, rather than coming off the bench. In 54 games (45 starts) for the Hawks this year, the veteran sharpshooter is also averaging the second-most minutes of his career (31.5). While the increased playing time is part of the reason Korver has seen his numbers increase (his 11.4 PPG is his best average since 2006/07), he has also been exceptionally productive by his standards. His .458 FG% and league-leading .461 3PT% are well above his career rates, and his 14.5 PER is a career-high.
The resurgence is coming at the right time for Korver, who will hit unrestricted free agency this summer. The 31-year-old is in the final year of a three-year, $15MM contract, and given how well he has played this season, it's not hard to envision him receiving offers of at least that many years and dollars again. Korver may not land as large a deal as fellow marksman J.J. Redick, who is three years younger, but three-point shooters as deadly as Korver always draw interest, particularly from contending teams.
If mid-level money (slightly more than $5MM annually) is enough to land Korver, his list of suitors figures to be extensive. The Nuggets are one team expected to target Korver with their MLE, and I could easily see the Grizzlies and other capped-out contenders getting in the mix as well. A mid-level offer may not be the best Korver can do from a financial perspective, but if he prioritizes a chance at a title run, we could see him accept a two- or three-year offer for MLE money.
Plenty of teams, contenders and non-contenders alike, are expected to have a good chunk of cap space this summer as well, and with only a handful of big-name free agents on the market, Korver should draw interest as a complementary piece for many of those clubs. For the Jazz, Mavericks, Pistons, and others, Korver may not be the Plan A, but if they miss out on one of their top targets, Korver certainly wouldn't be a bad alternative. Depending on how much cap room those teams have to spare, Korver could even earn an offer that pays him a little more than mid-level money, though I imagine the difference wouldn't be too significant.
The Hawks also remain a viable option for Korver. Not only has the team allowed Korver to shine in an expanded role, but Atlanta only has three players on guaranteed contracts for next season. GM Danny Ferry could go in a number of directions when it comes to using the Hawks' huge amount of cap space, and re-signing Korver may not be the first move he pursues when July arrives, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the two sides work out a deal to keep the veteran in Atlanta.
Korver has exhibited a knack for delivering his best seasons when they matter most. Prior to becoming a free agent in 2010, he shot an incredible 53.6% from three-point range for the Jazz, earning himself a big payday that summer despite playing in just 18.3 minutes per game for Utah in '09/10. His contract-year performance this time around is a little more impressive, and will likely land him another nice multiyear contract this July from a team in need of long-range shooting.
March 4 at 3:53pm CST By Luke Adams
The Nuggets stood pat at this year's trade deadline, electing to move forward with their current roster. However, the team figures to try to add a shooter this summer, and Kyle Korver is expected to be one of Denver's top targets, according to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post.
Dempsey compares the Nuggets' interest in Korver to the club's interest in Andre Iguodala a year ago. Although Denver was interested in Iguodala at last season's trade deadline, it wasn't until August that the Nuggets eventually worked out a deal to acquire the veteran forward.
In Korver's case, a trade won't be required, since the sharpshooter is in the final year of his contract with the Hawks. It's not clear what sort of salary the 31-year-old will command, but he's earning mid-level money ($5MM) this season, in what has been one of the best years of his career. Korver is hitting a career-high 2.8 three-pointers per game at a league-leading 46.2% rate, and has posted a career-high 14.6 PER.
Although it's too early to predict where Korver will land this summer, he indicated last week that he'd be open to signing with the Jazz, so it sounds as if he'll consider smaller-market teams as well as big-market contenders.