USA Basketball announced its final cuts for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, and included in those cuts is the Atlanta Hawks’ own Kyle Korver.
This is the first time in Coach K’s tenure as Team USA Head Coach that a player over 30-years-old will not be headed to a major international tournament.
Korver was one of the original 19 men announced to participate in the USA Basketball Camp in Las Vegas for a chance to earn a spot on Team USA’s FIBA World Cup roster.
Atlanta’s 3-point specialist was able to survive the initial round of cuts that included Hawks teammate Paul Millsap, but could not survive final cuts.
Unfortunately, Korver seemed to fall out of favor with the USA Basketball staff from then on which eventually resulted in him being cut.
Kyle Korver received a good chunk of minutes in the USA Basketball Blue and White Showcase and scored eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, 2-of-4 from downtown. Korver also received rave reviews in the early part of training camp, fueling the plausibility of Korver making the team.
Unfortunately, though, it seems Korver was not deemed USA Basketball material worthy.
While Korver’s outstanding 3-point shooting was a plus for him to help make the team (exemplified by him beating Klay Thompson in a 3-point shootout in practice), his deficiencies elsewhere, most notably in defense, seemed to pull him out of the race for one of the 12 spots.
The strong likelyhood of Kyle Korver being cut from USA Basketball became more real on the exhibition games following the Blue and White Scrimmage.
In those three exhibition matches following the scrimmage, Korver only played a total of nine minutes and scored 0 points, missing his two attempts in those games. The Atlanta Hawks guard/forward also received a DNP-Coach’s Decision in that stretch in a game against the Dominican Republic.
Although things may seem negative right now with Korver not making the cut, there are many positives to takeaway from the USA Basketball experience.
Firstly, Korver received some great coaching which will only add to his game. The coaches selected for USA Basketball are among some of the best in the world and their experience is invaluable.
Secondly, Kyle Korver received a great summer workout by competing in one of the highest levels of basketball one can compete in during the summer. It has been well noted that those who compete with USA Basketball during the summer are able to use that experience as momentum to have breakout seasons. Hopefully, Atlanta Hawks fans can see a similar result with Kyle Korver.
Also included in this final round of cuts was Gordon Hayward, Damian Lillard and Chandler Parsons.