The three-point sniper Kyle Korver is headed to the Milwaukee Bucks on a one-year, $2.6 million contract. Korver spent last season playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz, averaging 8.6 points per game on nearly 40% from the three-point line.
The Bucks are looking to stretch the floor and create more driving lines for MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Reliable shooting was a problem for the Bucks during the season. Ranking 16th as a team in three-point percentage at 35% isn’t a winning model for a modern-day NBA team. Teams must be able to stretch the floor and keep off-ball defenders honest with their coverage. Korver can force defenses to focus on him, opening up more opportunities for Giannis and Eric Bledsoe, two guys known for their attacking ability. The addition of Wesley Matthews with Korver will boost those lackluster three-point numbers.
But how effective is a player such as Korver anyways: the stereotypical defensive liability, off-ball catch and shoot player? When looking at players of his defensive caliber on the floor, eventually the negatives must outweigh the positives.
Check out his Box Plus/Minus numbers. Last season, Korver was -1.5 in that category. That can be simplified as saying he’s a liability on the court because his bad defense outweighs his good shooting. Believe it or not, the team that scores the most points will win the game. And if you have a player who is getting scorched worse than Will Ferrell’s character Frank the Tank did in Old School, your team will eventually suffer.
Players of this caliber are a dying breed. The three-point specialist era is coming to an end. The league will no longer see the Korver’s or JJ Redick’s anymore. With the evolution of the league, you must have a fully equipped skillset. Even players known for their three-point shooting are above average defenders that can challenge a skillful offensive player.
But if you’re the Bucks, this is the chance you take when you’re gifted the prime of a player of Giannis’ stature. The Philadelphia 76ers molded a roster to stop Giannis from driving to the basket for the next few seasons. If that’s the game-plan for opposing teams, then taking a chance on multiple guys to stretch the floor can ultimately pay off.