While the Hawks have made some significant changes to their roster this offseason, Kyle Korver has mostly stayed away from the spotlight, quietly preparing for another year with Atlanta. He hasn't completely escaped public scrutiny though, as some observers have questioned how much the veteran guard — mostly because of his age and lowered numbers last season — has left in the tank.
Barring another injury, though, Kyle Korver should outperform his numbers from last season and be a productive member of this Atlanta Hawks team. Korver is an extremely likable player, and his contributions both on and off the court for Atlanta are nothing short of impressive. Fortunately for both fans and Korver himself, there are plenty of reasons to think that he should still be a well above average player this season.
Any case for Kyle Korver playing at a high level begins with his career numbers. Korver has played for a number of different NBA teams, and has built a strong resume as a dependable player. He has shot nearly 43-percent from behind the arc for his career, cementing himself as one of the league's premier shooters.
Of course, there are legitimate concerns with Korver, and these can all be filed under either his age, recent injuries, or numbers from last season. Korver is now 35 years old, and put up lower numbers than usual last season. Much of this downturn has been attributed to the now-infamous injury in the 2015 eastern conference finals, a setback that plagued Korver for much of the 2015-16 campaign.
None of these issues should keep Korver from playing at a high level next season, though. Korver's age is a concern, but his style of play has already aged very well, and his solid play at the end of last season bodes well for 2016-17. In addition, Korver is spending this offseason practicing instead of recovering from surgery, allowing the veteran to devote all of his time to the upcoming season. It should also be noted that Korver was far from a bad player last year, as the numbers he put up can only be considered poor by his high standards.
FiveThirtyEight's CARMELO projection system claims that the 2016-17 version of Kyle Korver will be very similar to how he looked in 2015-16 (the website also gave him the label of "scrappy veteran," which seems accurate if somewhat vague). This is not a bad projection by any means, and should give Hawks fans some reason for optimism as the new season approaches.
If Korver meets or outplays his FiveThirtyEight projection, he will spend another season as an integral part of a (hopefully) solid Hawks team. His three-point shooting is invaluable, and the Hawks may lean on this aspect of his game even more now that Dennis Schröder and Dwight Howard are in the starting lineup. Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore are perfectly adequate three-point shooters, but the Hawks have less good shooting on their team after this offseason and will consequently need every shot that Korver can give.
Perhaps this is the most important part of any preview of Kyle Korver's upcoming season: his shooting is arguably more important to the Hawks than it has ever been. This isn't to say that the weight of the season lies on Korver's shoulders alone, but most doomsday scenarios for Atlanta in 2016-17 probably include him not being able to perform at a high level.
In an offseason filled with change, Korver's shooting adds a level of stability that fans can count on. He isn't guaranteed a stellar season by any means, but all reliable signs suggest that he should be a vital part of this team for at least one more season. Fans at Philips Arena should hear plenty of "Kyle Korver for THREEEE" once again.