Fading fast: Corey Kispert
Another player who was expected to take a major step forward this year was Corey Kispert. However, unlike Deni Avdija, he failed to meet the expectations so far.
Kispert was coming off an extremely underrated 2022-23 season. He was one of the best off-ball players in the league, converting 42.4% of his three-point attempts and being one of the most efficient scorers in the league with a 65.7 True Shooting Percentage. During the training camp, he talked about improving on the defensive end to become a regular starter who can close games. That hasn’t happened yet.
Perhaps Kispert expected to be a starter to begin the season. After starting in 45 games and playing 28.3 minutes per game last season, Kispert may have expected a larger role this season, especially with the team rebuilding. Instead, he was reduced to a bench role in which he only plays 21.6 minutes per game so far. Considering how important confidence is for a shooter, this may be impacting his play.
He is shooting 33% from three and 42.1% from the field. These will certainly improve as Kispert has established himself as an elite shooter. The area he needs to get better, however, is still his defense. Through five games, he doesn’t seem to have improved on that end, continuing to blow coverages, make mistakes, and get physically overwhelmed.
There are already plenty of weak defenders on this team. If Kispert can’t show any defensive improvement, he will find it difficult to increase his playing time. Being a bench player who plays less than 25 minutes per game on the worst team in the league is certainly not the way to increase your stock.