Philadelphia 76ers: Kyle Korver would have been a net loss in Philly

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

While it’s a bummer we don’t get a Kyle Korver reunion, his addition may have created more issues than he would have solved for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Yesterday, when news broke that the Utah Jazz had agreed to send a pair of future second-round picks (and Alec Burks) to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyle Korver, I was a bit bummed out.

Why? Well, besides the fact that I was 1,200 words into an article about why the Philadelphia 76ers should trade for him, I was really warming up to the idea of Korver finishing out his career in South Philly, where it all began.

However, with a little bit of space from the move, I’m now glad Utah bet on Korver instead of Elton Brand, as his inclusion on any roster could cause more problems than he solves.

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That may sound crazy, as Korver is one of the best 3-point shooters in NBA history, having made 2,238 of them since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2003, but still, at this point in his career, that’s about all he can do.

You see, through the first 20 games of the season, Korver has a defensive Real Plus-Minus ranking of .92, the 141st best mark of any two-three wing in the league, a noticeable drop from his .83 ranking last season (28th overall).

While it’s not uncommon for a team’s best shooter to be a defensive liability, I’m looking at you J.J. Redick; typically these players are logging minutes at the two guard slot. At 6-foot-7, 212 pounds, Korver is firmly a forward, and one of the most easily exploitable forwards on the defensive end of the the court.

Would the Sixers’ reliance on three forward lineups have helped to cover up this flaw? Sure, as Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, and Wilson Chandler are all capable, versatile defenders, but if Korver were to receive something in the realm of 20-plus minutes a game, his defensive issues would become much harder to cover up.

Furthermore, if the team were to deploy Korver in a four shooter death lineup alongside Landry Shamet, Reddick, Ben Simmons, and Mike Muscala, the team would absolutely get crushed on the other end of the court.

Seriously, that lineup may be the worst defensive five in the entire NBA.

While the 76ers can certainly afford to give up two second-round picks, as they have about a hundred over the next six seasons, why do so for a player who not only makes the team noticeably worse on one end of the court but also clogs up valuable salary cap space next season?

As things presently stand, Korver is in the middle of a 3-year deal worth $22 million, with $7.56 million left this season, and another $7.5 million next season.

Sure, Korver can still knock down 3s at a 40-plus percent clip now, but his defense is just going to get worse with each passing game.

Could you even imagine how much trouble Korver will have 15 months from now when he’s a 39-year-old entering the final months of his 17th season?

I grimaced at the thought.

Even though Korver may have been a quick fix to add some much-needed shooting off of the bench, his inclusion would have not only made the team worse on the defensive end of the court right away, but he also would have clogged up valuable cap space in 2019. While the final year of his contract is only partially guaranteed for $3.5 million, that’s still a pretty solid cap hit if they were to move on from Korver.

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Who knows, for $7.5 million, maybe the team can find a much younger version of Korver, who could actually stick around for a few seasons?