Kyle Korver Should Be On Each NBA Teams’ Free Agency Check List

May 27th, 2010 by Ryan Virgin Leave a reply »

With the draft rumors flying high, each unique and crazy in its own special way, The Portland Trail Blazers focus is on getting better, and subsequently closer to an NBA title.

Portland and its crack squad, led by Kevin Pritchard, have had excellent success in drafting players that have turned out to be immediately ready for the rigors of the NBA. Take last season for example. The team drafted two second round picks in Dante Cunningham (33rd overall) and Jeff Pendergraph (31st overall), two players Blazers' fans expected to watch ride the pine until the team was blowing out a basement team.

Turns out that the Blazers were forced to play both and in some cases start both at the same time due to devastating injuries to both centers and starting small Forward Nic Batum. In the end, the Blazers were clearly pleased with how their two rookies stepped up to the plate in the teams' darkest days.

With three players on next years roster starting their second years in the league, three with only three years experience, and three with four years experience, the Portland Trail Blazers don't need any more youth, they need a pure shooter with experience that can step into the Blazers offense and spread the floor for the Blazers solidified offensive options.

This marks the end of the Trail Blazers building through the draft and turning draft picks and cash considerations into lottery picks. For the team to live up to expectations, they need players that are completely prepared for the rigors of the NBA. They need players that are used to the 82+ game season and not rookies, whom are more likely than not, going to play their best basketball early in the season and then hit the wall when it really matters for a team looking to make a deep playoff run.

This means trading out of the Draft, or taking one player (in my opinion Quincy Pondexter: 2010 NBA Mock Draft   )and trading the second round pick or even Pondexter, in this case, as part of a sign and trade.

One player that I have had my eye on, and personnel within the Portland Trail Blazers organization have expressed great interest in, is Kyle Korver of the Utah Jazz. Which, if the Blazers were to go after him, they would most certainly be willing to part ways with the likes of Rudy Fernandez.

Korver has been around for six years in the NBA and has averaged 8.3 points, one rebound and one assist. Not exactly stellar numbers for a great three point shooter and a stellar free throw shooter, but he is consistent in everything he does.

If the Blazers want to play the slow, walk the ball up the court game that relies on good shot selection and good decision making on both sides of the floor, you need reliable shooters that can perform in the clutch. That is Kyle Korver.

If you have players like Rudy Fernandez out on the floor, your tempo becomes inconsistent and you run the risk of falling into the fast pace offensive tempo that you do not want to be in. One bad shot, one steal, or one long rebound can spark a team like that and get them moving on the fast break. Something no team wants to have happen.

Don't get me wrong, Fernandez is a better player all around. Rudy can pass the ball, shoot from anywhere besides the post, top of the league from the free throw line, and has the ability to drop 30 points at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, he battles confidence problems and that is one issue that rarely disappears. These confidence issues tend to make you inefficient and inconsistent.

And with a player that relies so heavily on his jump shot, confidence plays a huge role in how valuable he is to you team when he is on the court.

Now what I believe I will hear in this scenario is that you are just swapping shooters that cant play defense.

Well no, that is not the case. There is a difference between players that don't want to play defense and don't focus enough energy into the defensive schemes and a player that doesn't have all the tools, but works his butt off to make up for athleticism. Korver is a player that works hard.

If you are going to look at the times in which the Trail Blazers struggled during the last season, the times where they either let the other team rack up the points, while they couldn't even find the rim or they just looked off offensively, you must scrutinize the second unit, and most importantly the shooters within that system.

If Bayless is your point guard for the future, a player that wants to drive and kick, you need to surround him with three point shooters. The second unit also needs a leader that has been in the league long enough to understand his role,

The Blazers need another consistent shooter and at the price of the mid-level exception, this is something that the Trail Blazers organization shouldn't be afraid to pull the trigger on. Especially since the Jazz will be looking to rid themselves of salary this off-season.


Written by Ryan Virgin in Courtesy of:

This story was originally syndicated from Bleacher Report - Front Page.
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