Jazz hope Korver available against Hornets

By The Sports Xchange
Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver is soon expected to debut for the Utah Jazz following a trade earlier this week. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI
Former Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyle Korver is soon expected to debut for the Utah Jazz following a trade earlier this week. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

CHARLOTTE -- The Utah Jazz hope to have Kyle Korver available when it makes its second stop on a three-game trip Friday night to tackle the Charlotte Hornets.

Korver was acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, with the Jazz sending Alec Burks and two second-round picks to the rebuilding Eastern Conference club.


Korver and Burks both needed to pass physicals on Friday in order to be eligible to join their new teams on the court that same day. The Cavaliers are at Boston on Friday.

The 37-year-old Korver was having, statistically, his second-least productive season this year with the Cavaliers, averaging 6.8 points in 15.7 minutes per game.

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But one number remains high -- he's made 46.3 percent of his 3-point shots -- and that's attractive to a Utah team that ranks 23rd in the NBA in made 3-pointers per game (10.0) and 28th in 3-point field goal percentage (31.9).


If nothing else, Jazz star Donovan Mitchell noted upon hearing of the trade, Korver is a living training film on how to shoot a basketball.

"I'm excited to work with Kyle," Mitchell insisted to reporters. "I've always admired his shooting and mechanics."

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The Jazz acquired Korver one time previously in his career, on that occasion dealing with the Philadelphia 76ers. In his second full season in Utah, Korver set a franchise record for 3-point field goal percentage in a season (53.6), earning him a two-year, $10 million offer from the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2010.

In what might be their last game without Korver, the Jazz was once again off the mark on 3-point shots in Wednesday's 101-91 win at Brooklyn.

Despite getting Mitchell back from bruised ribs, Utah shot just 9-for-28 (32.1 percent) on threes in the game. Mitchell went 2-for-8, although he did make 10 of his 16 shots from two-point range to account for a majority of his 29 points.

Offense has rarely come easy to either the Jazz or Hornets in their recent meetings. Charlotte has beaten Utah four in a row at home, limiting the visitors to 86, 119, 98 and 88 points in those games, with the 119 coming in a double-overtime affair.


The last time the Jazz won at Charlotte, it was facing the Bobcats in December of 2013.

The Hornets haven't added any new players of late, but a bunch of guys looked a whole lot better in Wednesday's 108-94 home win over the Atlanta Hawks in a game in which star Kemba Walker was held to 19 points on 6-for-19 shooting.

Taking up the slack were Jeremy Lamb (22 points) and Cody Zeller (19), who combined for a Walker-like 41 points.

"You've gotta find ways," Hornets coach James Borrego explained to reporters after the game about winning on an off night by Walker. "You look at all our wins, and someone's stepping up. You know, it might be Lamb one night, it might be Cody one night ...

"We're a deep team, and I believe in these guys."

The Hornets, who have opened a four-game homestand with two straight wins, are quite familiar with Korver, who played in the Southeast Division for 4 1/2 seasons with Atlanta.

The veteran has faced the Hornets 43 times in his career, making two or more 3-pointers 29 times. His team has won 30 of the 43 games.


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