DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Chicago Bulls are looking for help on the perimeter, and the way Kyle Korver sees it, that's a direct challenge to him.
He's not shying away from it, either.
"I don't get caught up in all the rumors," the sharp-shooting Korver said Thursday. "A lot of stuff is thrown around. Anything can happen. But for sure, that's the position that I'm playing so I listen to it. It motivates you. You try to do better, but we'll see what happens. We'll see who they bring in. Whoever they do bring in -- they've done it before, right? -- it's about winning a championship. We'll see."
At least one target is off the board with Caron Butler leaving Dallas to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke Thursday on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The Bulls were in the running, but Butler will team with Blake Griffin rather than league MVP Derrick Rose.
Korver figures to have a role as the Bulls' long-range threat whether they bring in someone else or not, and he spent the offseason in Santa Barbara, Calif., trying to expand his game.
That meant improving on defense and trying to rediscover post moves he hasn't been asked to use in recent years.
The Bulls are looking for more after posting a league-leading 62 wins last season and losing to Miami in the Eastern Conference finals. The Heat have added Shane Battier, giving them another solid shooter and boosting a defense that did a good job shutting down Chicago in the playoffs.
Practices start Friday and the Bulls open the season on the road against the Lakers on Dec. 25, the start of what could be a wild sprint given the condensed 66-game schedule.
Teams like the Bulls that have their core basically intact figure to have an advantage, but don't expect to see pristine play. Some NBA players may not show up in great shape, and they are about to be tested in a big way.
The Bulls have 19 games in January and rarely have more than one off day this season.
No wonder, then, that Korver said he was "in shock" when he saw the schedule. He does buy into the idea that the Bulls might be in a better position to withstand that grind to some degree, but it won't be easy.
"We're human, we're not robots," he said. "There will probably be sloppy games, I'm sure."
That's just another challenge for a team that will likely have to get past the Heat if it wants to play for a championship.
Even if the Bulls bring in someone from the outside, improvement from within sure would help. For Korver, that means "becoming a better athlete and being a better defender."
He worked to improve his mobility and hone his inside moves, hoping he can make opponents pay when they put a bigger guard on Rose.
"A lot of times in the playoffs, they put more size on Derrick and put the point guard on me," Korver said. "I want to be able to take that guy down low. That's something I did early in my career. The last few years, teams that I've been on, it wasn't something we looked at so I didn't really work on it much the past few years."
He wants to be more patient with the ball, too. He said he was either quick to take the jumper or immediately passing last year, rather than allowing something to develop or taking a dribble or two to create space with a defender.
"I worked on coming off (screens) and taking time, seeing if there are different options and different plays that I can make," Korver said.