The Jazz addressed their outside shooting issues by signing Randy Foye last summer. But if the Jazz are looking for help again this offseason, Kyle Korver could be an option.
Yes, Korver. The popular former Jazz forward said Wednesday that he would be open to returning to Utah in free agency.
“I would definitely listen to Utah if they came to me with an offer,” he said. “I have a lot of respect for the organization, and it’s just a great place to live life and play basketball.”
Korver averages 11.4 points per game for the Hawks and leads the league with 46.4 percent 3-point shooting.
Korver, who signed with Chicago in 2010 before being traded to Atlanta last summer, remains involved in Salt Lake City community events. A division of the Kyle Korver Foundation has installed 116 wheelchair accessibility ramps for families in need of them.
Korver was unequivocal in his appreciation for Utah, including the fans.
“Man, this home crowd is amazing,” he said. “We walked in and were talking about the seats and how they are right down here on the floor. It’s just a really fun place to play.”
Jazz forward Paul Millsap missed only the 15th game of his career Wednesday, after he couldn’t rehab quickly enough from a sprained left ankle. He injured the ankle in the first half of Monday’s loss to Boston. He returned to that game, but did not practice Tuesday or participate in Wednesday morning’s shootaround.
He said the pain had improved from Tuesday but that his ankle was “still a little sore.”
“During the course of the game I couldn’t push off on it,” Millsap said, “but in the heat of the moment you don’t really feel it. So I tried to fight through it.”
Before Wednesday, Millsap was the only Jazz player to start every game this season. Three times in his career, he played in all 82 regular-season games.
“It’s a difficult thing,” coach Tyrone Corbin said, “and a lot of nights when you play this time of year especially you’re not feeling your best until you get out there and play.”
In Millsap’s place, Derrick Favors started against his hometown Hawks. It was his third start of the year.
Williams gets to play
A balky knee kept Marvin Williams from playing against the Hawks on Jan. 11. After sitting out that 103-95 loss, the Jazz small forward played for the first time in his career against the team that drafted him No. 2 overall in 2005.
Not that he feels all that far removed from those days.
Coming off the court after Wednesday’s shootaround, Williams’ T-shirt was ripped and he said, “Don’t even ask.”
When pressed, though, Williams admitted that he fell victim to a prank as he shot on the court when his former teammates arrived at EnergySolutions Arena.
“When I was in Atlanta,” Williams said, “we went through a little stage where we were tearing guys’ shirts off when they weren’t looking. And I was out there talking to Josh [Smith], and Zaza [Pachulia] came and got me.”
But Williams had payback in mind for the Hawks’ center.
“I told him my first foul was going to be for him tonight,” he said, laughing. “No, I’ll get him when the time is right, I’m sure.”
The Jazz on Saturday celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Junior Jazz program, the basketball league for kids that also allows children to interact with representatives from the Jazz organization.
Corbin has been active with Junior Jazz dating back to his days as a player. He said he once went to Hawaii with the program to represent the Jazz.
“It’s a tremendous program for a pro organization to be a part of,” he said, “to give back to the youth of the community, especially as young as they go in the Junior Jazz program.”
Each summer, Jazz players go on a Junior Jazz Summer Tour. In the past, that included legends John Stockton and Karl Malone. Current Jazz players to participate have been DeMarre Carroll, Jeremy Evans, Mo Williams and Favors.