While the Milwaukee Bucks have plenty of star power in Giannis Antetokounmpo, they’re far from a one-man team. In addition to the Greek Freak and Khris Middleton, the club has plenty of role players like Kyle Korver on the roster. The veteran sharpshooter’s career, however, began in much different circumstances.
Kyle Korver’s road to the NBA
Growing up in Los Angeles, Kyle Korver fell in love with the Showtime-era Lakers. Family pick-up games eventually gave way to high school basketball; after graduation, Kyle headed to Omaha, Nebraska to suit up for the Creighton Bluejays.
During his first season in college, Korver spent most of his time as a bench player, averaging 8.8 points per game. As a sophomore, however, he forced his way into the starting lineup; unsurprisingly, his offensive production increased to more than 14 points per outing.
While the sharpshooter had received some Missouri Valley Conference honors during his first two seasons with the Bluejays, he started making major waves as a junior. Korver led the team in points, rebounds, assists, and steals, taking home the conference’s Player of the Year title. As a senior, he claimed the award for a second straight year and earned a spot as a consensus All-American.
Getting traded for summer league fees and a copy machine
On the back of that successful college career, Kyle Korver entered the 2003 NBA draft. His introduction to the league, however, would be less than ideal.
While the New Jersey Nets selected the forward with the 51st overall pick, they had no real desire to add him to their roster; all of their preferred players were already taken. They immediately flipped Korver to the Philadelphia 76ers; the return, however, would add insult to injury.
At the time, the Nets were short on cash, so they sold Korver’s rights for an undisclosed amount. Grantland later reported the fee clocked in at $125,000. Most of that money paid for the club’s summer league fees; the remainder paid for a new copy machine in the front office.
Kyle Korver got the last laugh and is now worth millions
When an organization gives up a player for cash considerations, it’s safe to assume they don’t think too highly of his abilities. Kyle Korver, however, would go on to prove the New Jersey Nets brass wrong.
After a quiet first season in Philadelphia, Korver carved out a niche for himself on the 76ers roster. While he eventually left town—the forward spent time with the Jazz, Bulls, Hawks, and Cavaliers before landing with the Bucks—he developed into a solid NBA player capable of shooting .429 on three-pointers and averaging 9.7 points per game for his career. In terms of both longevity and financial success, Korver got the last laugh.
When the 2019-20 NBA campaign was suspended, Korver was wrapping up his 17th professional season; he has more than 1,200 games under his belt and, according to Spotrac, has earned almost $84 million in salary. CelebrityNetWorth also pegs the forward’s fortune at an estimated $30 million; that could buy plenty of copy machines.