Milwaukee Bucks: Can Kyle Korver chase franchise 3-point shooting record?

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 06: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 06: (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Standing as one of the greatest and most efficient three-point shooters in NBA history, Kyle Korver could very well chase some of the Milwaukee Bucks’ franchise shooting records.

Having seen the light last offseason and becoming one of the most willing three-point shooting teams in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boost their collective firepower from long range during this free agency period.

And who better to turn to than one of the greatest deadeye three-point shooters in NBA history, and one that could fill a critical role in light of the loss of 50-40-90 guard Malcolm Brogdon. Well that’s just what the Bucks did when they added Kyle Korver on a veteran minimum deal following his buyout from the Phoenix Suns last month.

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What was reported to be a big lure in Korver joining the Bucks, beyond the chance of fulfilling his championship aspirations, was reuniting with head coach Mike Budenholzer, who Korver previously played under while they both were with the Atlanta Hawks from the 2013-14 campaign to midway through the 2016-17 year.

While Korver had long stood as one of the most efficient three-point weapons throughout his previous stints around the league, it was under Budenholzer where the Creighton alum unlocked his sharpshooting to new heights by playing a critical starting role for those Budenholzer-led Hawks teams.

Not only did that lead to Korver making his lone All-Star appearance during the Hawks’ stunning 2014-15 season, but the Iowa native managed to lead the NBA in three-point percentage for the two and a half years he previously played for the reigning NBA Coach of the Year (47.2 percent in 13-14, 49.2 percent in 14-15 and 45.1 percent in 16-17).

Now a little over two years after chasing a championships as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Korver is going for a second go-around with a coach who he holds in such high esteem. As he told ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz back during Atlanta’s 60-win season in 14-15:

"“There’s this really fine line that some coaches don’t try to walk,” Korver says. “I feel like every coach is either really good at X’s and O’s or a really good personality manager, and there aren’t many coaches who know how to walk the middle. Bud? I’ve never seen a coach at any level who does it better than him.”"

By rejoining forces with Budenholzer, the 38-year-old will be a potent shooting weapon within a team that is stocked with them, all of which is centered to showcase the wide-ranging talents of superstar and reigning Most Valuable Player, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

And considering the quality and volume of open three-point shots that the Bucks were able to generate under Budenholzer’s first year at the helm, Korver’s dynamic marksmanship will only enhance their potency in that regard as well as give the team a one of a kind off-ball threat that opposing defenses can’t afford to ignore.

All of this begs the question of whether Korver has a legitimate chance of slotting himself in the Bucks’ record books, considering his shooting pedigree and how explosive the combination of him and Budenholzer has proven to be in the past?

That record is currently held by a renowned sharpshooter in his own right, Dell Curry, who set it during his lone season with the Bucks during the lockout-shortened 1998-99 campaign. One of the more memorable three-point threats in league history in his own right, Curry knocked down a remarkable 47.6 percent of the 145 three-point tries in what was the first year of George Karl‘s stint at the coaching helm.

Under Curry’s top mark stands another prominent three-point sniper in Craig Hodges as he hit 46.6 percent of his 118 three-point attempts with the Bucks before being dealt to the Phoenix Suns midway through the 1987-88 year. And more familiar Bucks players of present and past follow in the 10 most efficient individual shooting seasons in franchise history such as Ray Allen, Ersan Ilyasova, Michael Redd, though not in order.

Of course, it’s hard to predict just how expanded of a role Korver will carve out in the Bucks’ deep rotation and more importantly, whether he’ll be able to regain his shooting touch after a down shooting year, by his lofty standards (Korver connected on 39.7 percent of his 348 three-point attempts between Cleveland and Utah).

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Perhaps the prospect of joining up with Budenholzer again will motivate the journeyman shooter to getting back to the same high-level shooting that we’ve been accustomed to seeing throughout his time in the league. He’ll certainly have some level of opportunity to do so and it’ll be on Korver to tap back and repossess that deadly shooting stroke.