CHARLOTTE — Kyle Korver arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina around 4 p.m. Thursday.
He immediately fulfilled his physical exam obligation in order for his trade from Cleveland to Utah to clear before heading back to the team hotel to catch up on some rest.
Then, ahead of making the debut of his second tenure with the Jazz on Friday, Korver went through shootaround. Later in the afternoon, he also met individually with Jazz coach Quin Snyder, his former assistant coach in Atlanta, to go over basic concepts from the team's playbook on an iPad.
This is how a new player gets integrated into a franchise in the middle of a three-game road trip.
“You have a lot of things you do and there’s kind of a core playbook that we have on an iPad and we carry that around for different guys at different times just to try to develop a familiarity,” Snyder said. “I think it’s important not to overload a player right away by trying to download a playbook.
“You can do that on an iPad but you can’t do it into someone’s brain, no matter how smart a player you are, without creating indecision and hesitancy.”
Although admitting to only knowing what he was doing roughly a “quarter of the time,” Korver managed to put up 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 22 minutes of Utah’s 119-111 victory against the Hornets. Four of his makes were triples, including his first one off a screen and assist from Rudy Gobert at 4:42 in the first quarter, just seconds after he checked into the game for the first time.
His elite three-point shooting allowed the Jazz to space the floor, which is a big reason why general manager Dennis Lindsey acquired Korver in a deal for Alec Burks and two future second round picks.
Lindsey feels Korver brings leadership, character, discipline, precision and experience as a 16-year veteran. He previously heard a lot about Korver, most notably from former Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor — who entered the locker room after the latest win in Charlotte.
Korver and the Jazz will try and build on his debut in Charlotte, where the team shot 54.3 percent, during Sunday’s road game at Miami. The Heat game will mark the final stop of a three-game road trip where the Jazz have won two straight.
“While we have a competitive team, I think discipline and precision are two areas where there’s opportunity for growth for a lot of our players and the collective,” Lindsey said. “Then you start moving on the court, not just open shooting, but pin down shooting, which is materially different. The ability for him to quickly tee up shots, so there’s some volume associated with that.”
Unlike Burks, whose play style was similar to Donovan Mitchell in terms of attacking the basket and handling the ball, Korver brings a much-needed shooting dynamic to the offense. Sure, Joe Ingles is a top shooter, but Kover has his own unique way of putting the ball in the hole.
Mitchell noticed it right away in Buzz City.
“Definitely, it definitely helps. He came out and knocked, what, knocked down his first two shots,” Mitchell said. “That’s what he does. It helps us a lot with spacing and gives us confidence, you know, in shooting the ball. But you know as far as the defense goes we’ve got a little bit that we need to clean up, but our offense carried us tonight.”
As Korver continues to get a feel for guys’ tendencies and his head coach, he anticipates this team becoming dangerous. The process will take time, but he already enjoys the vibe in the locker room. With 15 seasons under his belt, the 37-year-old can sense that right away.2 comments on this story
“It’s a really cool group. Bunch of good guys,” Korver said. “This is a really good locker room. Guys get along well, you can tell that it’s real… it’s genuine. You’re not trying to force conversations and stuff just kind of flows.
“Management has done a great job of not just bringing in good basketball players but good people,” he added. “That’s where chemistry always starts, just when you get to know guys and you can only get to know guys if guys want to talk and guys want to connect, so it feels like a great group.”