Korver's deal with the Hawks will mark a slight uptick in annual salary from the $5 million he earned in 2012-13. He concluded his three-year, $15 million deal in Atlanta this past season, the 32-year-old sharpshooter's first with the Hawks.
He averaged 10.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting a robust 45.7 percent from beyond the three-point arc, which was second in the league behind Jose Calderon. The 2012-13 campaign marked the second straight season that Korver finished inside the Top 10 in three-point percentage.
Korver had received interest from multiple teams around the league. The Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and others had all made inquiries about the former Creighton star. At one point, ESPN's Marc Stein noted that Brooklyn had Korver "in the bag." However, a late bidding war erupted, with Stein reporting that the Bucks increased it to a three-year, $20 million offer:
In the end, the Hawks had to up the ante even more to land their man.
Superficially, it might seem a little strange for Korver to attract such a bidding war. He's not a prolific scorer—his career high is 14.4 points per game in 2006-07—despite being considered mostly a one-dimensional player. Though Korver understands defensive rotations and works hard on that end, his slow feet and lack of athleticism still make him replacement-level on his best nights.
However, the one area where Korver truly thrives—three-point shooting from a spot-up position—has become one of the league's most coveted commodities. As hybrid man-zone defensive schemes continue to take hold across the NBA, players who can help space the floor become key. By forcing his defender to stay in quick-close-out position due to the threat of a three, guys like Korver make life much easier for drive-and-kick players and big men.
As we've seen throughout the early portion of this offseason, teams are increasingly willing to pay top dollar for that style of players. According to the Los Angeles Times' Broderick Turner, J.J. Redick, a sharpshooter in Korver's mold, landed a four-year deal worth $27 million as part of his sign-and-trade agreement with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Redick is widely regarded as a superior option to Korver, but the motivation is simple. Atlanta is looking to keep the floor spaced by having a threat beyond the arc, and Korver represented its most favorable option.
Neither the Hawks nor Korver have commented on the deal. Like all agreements made during the NBA's moratorium, the two parties are agreeing in principle. Korver cannot officially sign his contract until July 10, the day the NBA reopens for business.
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