Giannis Antetokounmpo Did All He Could to Keep Kyle Korver Away From Sixers
Kyle Korver going back to the Philadelphia 76ers, was the reunion that never was. For the last season or two, the Sixers could've used the NBA veteran sharpshooter as they've been on the hunt for a player who can consistently knock down threes off the bench.
Anytime Korver's name was floating around the NBA rumor mill, he was always linked to the team that drafted him back in 2003 out of Creighton. Korver spent four and a half productive seasons in Philly, where he notched his career-high in points-per-game in 2006.
But ever since he left the City of Brotherly Love, Korver would never make his way back no matter how many times he was linked to the Sixers. It seemed as if Korver could legitimately reunite with Philly 13 years later as he became a free agent once again this offseason.
Philly could've used a veteran leader and a long-range scorer after losing JJ Redick to the New Orleans Pelicans. Getting Korver back made sense for the Sixers, but they wouldn't be bidding against themselves for his service. At age 38, Korver was still somewhat of a hot commodity on the market as an affordable shooter.
Many believed the reunion would happen -- even Milwaukee Bucks' superstar Giannis Antetokoumpo. Over the summer, Antetokoumpo revealed he was on the hunt to recruit Kyle Korver to his team. Knowing the Bucks needed shooters, the 'Greek Freak' did all he could to help his team land both Wesley Matthews and Kyle Korver.
When Antetokoumpo linked up with Korver in Santa Barbara back in the summer, he made his pitch, which involved an argument against Korver playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. According to The Athletic's Eric Nehm, Giannis had to give examples of how he could help Korver in 2019-2020, despite the fact he believed Korver wanted in on the Sixers.
"I know Al Horford is your best friend," Antetokoumpo said to Korver. "I know you'd love playing with [Al Horford] in Philly, but look, 'I can get you shots. I can find you easier,' and he loved it." You think Antetokoumpo was right? Most likely. Through 47 games this season, Korver has drained 40-percent of his three-pointers, averaging 6.4 PPG.
Also, the Bucks are sitting comfortably in first place while the Sixers are hanging around the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, Horford's first season with the Sixers hasn't gone according to plan. While Horford and the Sixers are still struggling to find their fit, Korver is doing just fine with Giannis out in Milwaukee. While a Sixers-Korver reunion would've been a nice story initially, the veteran guard is probably refreshed, knowing he avoided a potentially tough situation for himself with the Sixers.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_