The former Pella star, and now 13-year NBA veteran, Kyle Korver ended his career-best, All Star year in 2014-15 by sustaining an injury in the playoffs and he hasn’t quite found his rhythm yet this year, although he’s still shooting the ball respectably well for a Hawks team that will certainly be back in the playoffs again this year. His name has been popping up a lot this week in trade rumor talk because it’s well known that the Hawks are looking to move some of their veteran assets. The trade deadline is next week.
Korver has the skill set that lots of teams are looking for, particularly teams looking to play the trendy uptempo style that takes advantage of floor spacing in the half court. He’s a wing player and a serious 3-point threat and his basketball intelligence is very high even though he’s on the backend on his career now from a physical standpoint.
One intriguing landing spot that has been mentioned is the Cleveland Cavaliers. That would actually be a great turn of events for Korver, who’s never played for a real championship contender. On paper he looks like a good fit for the Cavs, too, because they want more shooting talent at the small forward position. He has one year left of a four year, $24 million contract so he’s not a major risk to the Cavs beyond this year even if it doesn’t work out.
Slumping Bulls Hobble into All Star Weekend
Hoiberg entered his rookie season as an NBA coach asserting that the Bulls as currently constructed could “compete for a championship” this year. But the current construction has never been on the floor together this whole year due to an ever-growing litany of injuries and because their young players, including Doug McDermott, have not been able to capitalize on their increased playing time. The result: The Bulls entered the All Star break just barely above .500 at 27-25, a treacherous 7th place in the Eastern Conference standings. At this point they aren’t competing for a championship; they’re just trying to battle their way into the playoffs.
Will Barnes Be a Warrior Next Season?
Is it already a foregone conclusion that this will be Harrison Barnes’ last year as a Warrior? According to some commentators, including ESPN’s Warriors reporter Ethan Strauss, it most likely is. Barnes elected not to sign a multi-year deal with the Warriors before the beginning of this season, going against the dynasty-building trend started by his teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. As a result he’ll be a free agent at the end of this year and is expected to shop around for a max contract. The Warriors will be unlikely to offer a max deal to him because they most likely want to try to make a play on a top free agent like Kevin Durant.
ESPN’s Strauss suggested on the Feb. 5 edition of the “True Hoop” podcast that Barnes’ goal of earning max money rather than settling for less and keeping the Warriors’ championship core together is a bit of a sticking point for his teammates and potentially compromises the team-first mentality that has made this Warriors unit one of the all-time greats. While I don’t doubt that Strauss may have heard some rumblings while traveling around with the team, it’s hard for me to believe that a group of professional athletes would really question a guy wanting to bet on himself and try to create generational wealth for his family. Plus, if there was discontinuity on the team I would anticipate seeing some of that reflected on the court, but on the contrary it’s clear the Barnes is a go-to guy down the stretch, which he showed again last week with a blistering 17-point fourth quarter against the Rockets.
That kind of performance shows why he’ll be tempting to a team that is looking to sign a young player to a max deal. But it also shows that he’s fully integrated in the Warriors’ current lineup and is a key piece to their increasingly likely second consecutive championship.