ESPN’s Grantland has an engaging profile of ex-Sixers guard Kyle Korver today, which speaks of the NBA sharpshooter as one of the NBA’s more underrated players. Korver played with Philadelphia from his rookie year in the 2003-04 season to Dec. 27, 2007, when he was traded to the Utah Jazz.
Here’s what’s fun: The article goes into how Korver ended up with the 76ers. The New Jersey Nets, fresh off an NBA Finals appearance, selected Korver with the 51st pick in the NBA Draft. Korver had spent four years as a sharpshooter at mid-major Creighton University. In order to pay for their summer league team, the Nets traded Korver to the Sixers for $125,000 of Comcast money. The Nets bought a new copy machine with the leftover money from the Korver trade.
Here’s what’s not fun: The Sixers, looking to save money and get rookie Thaddeus Young more playing time, traded Korver early in the 2007-08 season. The team shipped him to the Utah Jazz for Gordon Giricek and a 2010 first-round pick. Zach Lowe picks up the story here, with quotes from ex-Sixers GM Ed Stefanski:
[D]ealing Korver wasn’t easy. He was already among the league’s best shooters and a beloved figure in the Philadelphia community, where Korver had started a foundation to benefit inner-city kids. “Our community relations manager was literally in tears when I told her,” Stefanski says. “And all the young girls in Philly wanted to kill me. Parents were coming up to me and saying I had traded their daughter’s favorite player.”
Korver, you may remember, has often been compared to Ashton Kutcher. The Sixers not only lost a fan favorite, they didn’t get anything out of the deal besides more minutes for Young. Giricek played just 12 games for the Sixers before being waived, and that 2010 first-round pick ended up being traded to Minnesota as part of a salary dump the following summer.
That’s right: The Sixers traded Kyle Korver and managed to get less than a new copy machine in return.