PORTLAND, Ore. - Unlike the player he was traded for, Gordan Giricek was neither surprised nor nostalgic when he was dealt to the 76ers.
Giricek joined the team yesterday in Portland, after being traded on Saturday along with a future first-round pick from the Utah Jazz for Kyle Korver.
Giricek is earning $4 million in the final year of his contract, and he also had an expiring relationship with Jazz coach Jerry Sloan.
This season, Giricek had seen limited playing time and had an ongoing feud with the veteran coach.
"I think it's not worth any more to discuss those things," he said before yesterday's game at the Rose Garden against the Portland Trail Blazers. "It has to be water under the bridge. They did everything to help their team, and Philadelphia made their moves and we start from here."
Giricek's expiring contract would put the Sixers about $10 million under the salary cap, according to Sixers president and general manager Ed Stefanski, if no other moves are made.
Korver is signed through 2010, but Stefanski said the player can opt out of the contract after the 2008-09 season.
"That was a factor in our decision," Stefanski said.
As for the first-round pick, the Sixers have the option of using it between 2009 and 2014. It is protected through at least the first half of the draft, according to Stefanski. And the selection is Utah's and not one the Jazz are owed from the New York Knicks.
Giricek said he wasn't surprised by the trade because he had asked for the move.
"I loved the city, but somehow I couldn't find a right spot with the team," he said. "The only thing I asked always is to be respected as a man. Not as a basketball player, just as a man. And I didn't feel that was so."
Stefanski said he had no misgivings in taking Giricek despite his sour relationship with Sloan.
"None, zero," he said.
Giricek was not eligible to play in yesterday's game. According to Stefanski, the trade was not made official prior to one hour before tip-off. Players have to take physicals when traded; the results were not approved by that time, but the trade is now official.
Now that he's a Sixer, Giricek isn't worried about next season, when he will be a free agent.
"I think the future for me will be bright wherever I want to play," he said. "I came here to help the team as much as I can and give my best."