The 1 Reason Kyle Korver Picked the Bucks Over the 76ers

Kyle Korver has made more than $77 million in his NBA career, and at 38 years old picking a team in free agency that gives him the best chance to win a title — he has yet to earn a championship ring in the league — may be more important to him than signing a contract that pays him the most money. The Creighton alum signed with the Bucks, but he reportedly had narrowed his choices down to two teams. The 76ers, according to those reports, are the team that lost out to the Bucks when it came to signing the 16-year veteran. And there’s one reason in particular that Korver made the choice that he did.

Kyle Korver contract details

Kyle Korver had several suitors duting NBA free agency, but he picked the Bucks over the 76ers and others.
Kyle Korver picked the Bucks over the 76ers during NBA free agency. | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Korver’s contract with the Bucks is a one-year deal with a base salary of $2,564,753 and a cap hit of $1,620,564. That salary represents the league minimum for a player with at least 10 years’ experience. That is a significant drop-off from the $7.5 million he made last season with the Jazz and Cavaliers. However, his lower salary goes back to the thought that Kyle Korver is more concerned about winning a ring than maximizing his earnings in the late stages of his NBA career.

It’s all about the coach

Mike Budenholzer is entering his second season as the head coach of the Bucks. That team made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season thanks to the effort of MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. And Budenholzer is thought to be the major factor that Korver took into account when deciding which team to sign with this offseason. Why is that?

Korver has a history and strong ties to Budenholzer, who coached Korver for four seasons with the Hawks. One of the seasons the pair worked together was in Atlanta in 2014-15, when Korver made his only All-Star team. Going to the Sixers would have been nostalgic for Korver since he played with Philadelphia for the first four-plus seasons of his career before being traded to the Jazz.

What would Kyle Korver have provided to the Sixers?

If Korver decided to sign with the Sixers for this season, he would have provided the team with some much-needed floor spacing. He also would have given potentially given them a leg up on the Bucks as the teams battle over Eastern Conference supremacy in their quest to represent the conference in the NBA Finals. The 76ers lost in the conference semifinals each of the last two seasons, and they were hoping to sign Korver so that he could try to get them over the hump into the conference finals.

What will Korver’s role be with the Bucks?

Korver will provide the Bucks with a chance to make more three-pointers. The Bucks already take a lot of shots from behind the arc, and he’ll give them a better chance of making them. The Bucks attempted the second-most threes last season, but they were just 14th in the NBA three-point percentage at 35.3%.

Korver, meanwhile, made 38.4% of his attempted three-point shots. For his career, Korver shoots nearly 43% from long distance. When Bucks GM Jon Horst spoke about the Korver signing, he called the player “an elite three-point shooter” and promised that Kyle Korver “will play an impactful role” for the team. As a veteran, Korver can also be a player-coach in a way and mentor his younger teammates on and off the court. A viral video has already circulated that shows Korver helping the reigning MVP with his jump shot.