Miami Heat: Heat Must Target Kyle Korver in the Offseason
With a core of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, wide-open perimeter shots are aplenty with the Miami Heat. They are so potent because of this that defenses must allow either an easy shot in the paint or an unguarded long-range attempt.
With shooters like Ray Allen, Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers, it really becomes a pick-your-poison situation for opposing teams.
It is for this reason that the Heat must acquire Kyle Korver in the offseason.
Korver, currently a member of the Atlanta Hawks, is one of the deadliest shooters in the NBA. He's averaging 2.8 three-point makes per game with a league-leading 45.8 percentage from beyond the arc, en route to 11.3 points and 4.1 rebounds.
The 6'7" swingman has started 42 of the 49 games he's seen with the Hawks and went on an absolute tear last month. Through January, Korver scored 13.1 points per game with a stellar 52 percent from three-point range. His increased success is most likely derivative of his 31.2 minutes per game, as Korver had not played more than 22.6 minutes per game in the last three seasons.
According to Synergy Sports, Korver is converting 47.9 percent of his spot-up three-pointers. Considering the majority of Miami's shooters are deployed in such a fashion, it bodes well if he does sign in South Beach.
At the end of this season, the Heat will have eight guaranteed contracts on the books. Chalmers has a team option to his deal, while Allen, James Jones and Rashard Lewis have player options. The former was given such a clause should he wish to retire, as Allen will turn 38 on July 20.
Who should the Heat chase in the offseason?
He began to appear fatigued building up to the All-Star break, shooting just 36.6 percent from three in February. However, Allen has since flipped the switch and is at 55.6 percent post All-Star Weekend. While it would be pure speculation, Allen's seemingly turnaround performance may be related to the rest he's had over the past week or two.
If Allen does decide to hang 'em up, Miami should make a hard push for Korver. He would fit seamlessly into Allen's role and would come at a similar price tag.
The Heat will be extremely cautious with their payroll, as to avoid as much luxury tax as possible. Korver will receive an even $5 million with Atlanta this season, so for him to accept a mini mid-level exception of $3.1 million with Miami is not far-fetched to believe.
Even if Allen remains with the team, chasing Korver to replace Lewis or Jones would be a huge upgrade. The only issue with that would be the increased salary of Lewis' $1.3 million to Korver's potential $3.1 million. The Heat could theoretically trade or amnesty Mike Miller, thus creating a gap that Korver's contract would fill without the aforementioned luxury tax repercussions.
Either way, the addition of Korver would make Miami seemingly unbeatable. He is easily a top-five shooter in the league and cannot be left open under any means. Having him alongside Wade and LeBron would be a luxury the Heat can afford, it's just a matter of how they go about it.
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