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Could Kyle Korver Return To The Utah Jazz?

Kyle Korver #26 of the Utah Jazz is guarded by Malik Beasley #25 of the Denver Nuggets in the first quarter at the Pepsi Center on February 28, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Utah Jazz formally introduced Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic on Monday in Las Vegas, Nevada with general manager Justin Zanik and executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey, but Lindsey couldn’t begin the press conference without thanking the players that are no longer with the franchise.

He thanked each player from last season’s roster who are now moving on to different teams, but hinted at one player returning in the future. There is a scenario where that future could be sooner than expected.

Kyle Korver was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies along with Grayson Allen, Jae Crowder and two first round picks in exchange for Mike Conley, but Lindsey teased a possible a possible return to Utah for a third stint.

“I could see him back in the Jazz organization in various capacities going forward, so we want to wish him the best,” Lindsey said.

How Utah Can Bring Korver Back

When the Jazz traded Korver to the Grizzlies, according NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, Korver wouldn’t be allowed to re-sign with the Jazz if the Grizzlies bought out his contract for at least one year after the trade.

But, according to reports, the Grizzlies traded Korver to the Phoenix Suns last week, who reportedly plans to release him, making him an unrestricted free agent. If the trade becomes official and Korver gets released by the Suns, Korver could re-sign with the Jazz because they would no longer be the last team to trade him.

Korver’s leadership in the locker room was more beneficial than his play on the court last season, even though Korver had some great games with the Jazz after getting traded in December from the Cleveland Cavaliers for Alec Burks.

One instance that stands out was after their Game 3 loss to the Houston Rockets in the Playoffs that put the Jazz down 3-0 in the series after Donovan Mitchell missed the potential game-tying three pointer, Korver was finished answering questions from the media when he called them back to add a thought about Mitchell.

“I have never been around a young player like Donovan Mitchell. I have never seen someone so young take ownership of a team, take ownership of his play, do it with charisma, do it with class. Never seen that in my 16 years in the NBA. He missed a tough shot tonight, but it’s just going to be part of his story. If you’ve played any meaningful basketball in the NBA, you have a shot like that. If you don’t, that means you haven’t played in meaningful games, or you haven’t been trusted by your teammates or coaches to take that shot. I don’t care who it is in history, everyone has a shot they want back. This is going to be part of the story at the end of the day. Because of who he is, he’s going to put too much on that shot, but we missed free-throws, we missed dunks, we missed layups, we missed threes. It was not about that shot. It was not about that shot. We had so many more chances to win that game. But I’m super proud of him. He came out and like, he heard that he hadn’t played as well as he wanted to in the first couple of games, and he put the whole thing on his back. For a young guy, 21 years old or whatever he is, that’s really special. He is on a great path in the NBA. At the end of the day, this is just going to be part of his story, part of his journey. He’s just going to keep building on it.”

Other Capacities

According to reports, Korver is expected to play one or two more seasons before he retires. If Korver doesn’t return to Utah and decides to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers or the Milwaukee Bucks, who are all interested in signing Korver, he could come back to Utah after his career is over.

He would make a great coach in the NBA with his basketball IQ and all of the experience in the NBA, it would make sense. Korver could also be with the organization as an adviser or consultant of some sort or even a development coach.

The other capacity could be a broadcaster for the team. Korver has always been great to interview and interacts well with the media.