Pending a passed physical, the Chicago Bulls have traded Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks via the Minnesota Timberwolves in a move that saves them $500,000 and nets what is expected to be either a second-round pick and traded player exception or a player with a small contract from the Timberwolves.
The Bulls had until Sunday to either guarantee Korver’s $5 million option for 2012-13 or waive him and pay Korver $500,000. The Bulls had talked to the Hawks about trading Korver into Atlanta’s traded player exception acquired in the Joe Johnson trade to the Nets.
They ultimately used Minnesota to facilitate the deal.
Not sure what the actual end result of this trade will be. This could be a sign-and-trade for Kirk Hinrich so the Bulls can save their mini mid-level exception, which is worth around $3 million, or maybe team will come away with a draft pick or another player.
Regardless, it’s a bittersweet goodbye to Korver, who was Chicago’s only premier three-point shooter. In fact, the Bulls’ top three long-distance snipers were Korver (43.5 percent), C.J. Watson (39.3) and John Lucas III (39.3).
All three of those guys are gone now.
It makes me wonder how the Bulls are going to spread the floor next season. Hinrich can hit the three, but he hit only 34.6 percent of his treys last season and his career three-point shooting percentage (37.8) isn’t exactly sizzling.
Anybody with working eyeballs could tell Chicago’s offense ran more smoothly last season when Korver was on the floor, and in fact he led the team (with Joakim Noah) in Offensive Rating at 120 points per 100 possessions. According to NBA.com, Kyle was second on the team (to Luol Deng) in simple plus-minus (+325). BasketballValue also highlights the value of having Korver on the floor.
The Bulls saved some money on this deal. Sure. But — unless management has another move up its sleeve — they became a worse offensive team.