NBA AM: Kyle Korver In High Demand
Hawks’ Kyle Korver Talks Free Agency
When the Atlanta Hawks acquired veteran forward Kyle Korver from the Chicago Bulls for cash considerations last summer the move didn’t generate a huge amount of national attention. But as we enter the stretch run of the regular season Korver’s presence in the Hawks’ lineup has been an integral part of the team’s success in the first season post Joe Johnson.
Korver is in the final year of his current deal and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Hawks have roughly $19 million in guaranteed salaries on the books for next season, which will give the team close to $40 million in cap room to be active in the free agency and trade markets.
Hawks president of basketball operations and general manager Danny Ferry has preached a message of flexibility since taking over personnel decisions last summer. The front office leadership has impressed Korver and the veteran is on board with the direction of the franchise.
“I’ve really enjoyed Atlanta a lot,” Korver told HOOPSWORLD. “It’s a good life here, you know? It’s a good city. I believe in the direction Danny Ferry is going. There are some really good pieces here and we play fun basketball. Free agency … I don’t want to talk about it a whole lot yet but I’ve really enjoyed my time here with the Hawks.”
Korver has flourished in his lone season in Atlanta. The former Creighton standout leads the league in three-point percentage (45.6 percent) and is fourth in three-point field goals made (149) despite playing at least 200 minutes less than the guys in the top three spots (Stephen Curry, Ryan Anderson and Klay Thompson).
But Korver’s future with the team beyond this season isn’t a certainty. The Hawks only have three players with guaranteed deals for the 2014 season and Ferry will also have to decide the future of forward Josh Smith and guard Jeff Teague team this summer as top priorities. Smith will be an unrestricted free agent and Teague will be a restricted free agent once the club issues a qualifying offer as expected.
Korver understands the business side of the league and isn’t worried about going through the free agency process. In fact, the veteran is looking forward to it. Korver will turn 32 on March 17 and is looking to secure a multi-year deal as he rounds out his playing career.
“It’s nothing to dread about it,” Korver said of going through the free agency process. “Your wife wants to know where she’s going to live next year and I do too, obviously. It only gets to happen a couple times in your career. This is my tenth year and it’s only happened to me twice, being an unrestricted free agent. 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.”
In recent weeks Denver and Utah are teams rumored to have interest in Korver once free agency begins. Korver played three seasons with the Jazz from 2008-2010. Memphis is another team to watch and could join the Korver sweepstakes this summer. The Grizzlies are currently 24th in the league in three-point accuracy and their top three-point option, Mike Conley, has connected on just 79 for the entire season.
What Are Andre Iguodala’s Long Term Plans In Denver?
The Denver Nuggets acquired Andre Iguodala as part of a four team trade last summer where centers Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum served as the headliners of the deal. Fast forward and to the surprise of many the Nuggets appear to be the team who have come out as the winners of the transaction as Howard is struggling to regain his form in Los Angeles and Bynum has yet to log a single minute with Philadelphia.
But there is a wrinkle. Iguodala could decide to opt out of the final year of his deal and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The veteran forward admits he’s been evaluating news around the league in order to aid in his decision making process but has yet to come to a concrete conclusion.
“Obviously, you’re talking to your agent and you’re paying attention to trades, and salary caps that are being opened up through sign and trades and other guys who are in the same position as you,” Iguodala told Paola Boivin of the Denver Post. “It’s in the back of your mind. But as far as making a concrete decision, you really don’t size it up until the season is over, because we have some opportunities to do some really good things here.”
Iguodala is set to earn $16 million next season if he decides to opt-in. With his deal on the books the Nuggets will be right up against the luxury tax next season with decisions to make on free agents Corey Brewer (unrestricted) and Timofey Mozgov (likely restricted).
Banged Up Knicks Forward Carmelo Anthony Talks Knee Injury
The New York Knicks are in the best position they’ve been in years as we near the playoffs. However, the club appears to be breaking down physically as the regular season portion of the campaign comes to a close. The team is still reeling from the loss of Amar’e Stoudemire (knee) who is expected to be out at least six weeks. The team has also been playing without All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony who is battling his own set of knee problems.
Although Anthony returned to the lineup versus Golden State, the veteran forward readily admits the Knicks’ training staff hasn’t been able to identify the true cause of his constant knee discomfort.
“Nobody can really give me an exact answer on it,” Anthony told Frank Isola of the New York Daily News. “There’s no pain, no ligament damage or anything like that. There’s just some fluid in the back of the knee that’s preventing me from hyper-extending my knee sometimes.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent.”
The Knicks (38-23) are second in th4e Eastern Conference standings and are in the midst of a five game Western Conference road trip. The team lost by 29 versus the Warriors in game one of the trip and will now face Denver, Portland, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Utah.Tweet #players name and the hash tag #dunkuary