The 76ers have traded power forward Reggie Evans to the Toronto Raptors for guard-forward Jason Kapono, adding a proven sharpshooter to the NBA's worst three-point-shooting team the past two years.
The Sixers announced the trade yesterday at 2:41 p.m., but it will not be finalized until both players pass physical examinations with their new teams.
Kapono is tied with former Chicago Bulls guard Steve Kerr for the highest three-point shooting percentage in NBA history: 45.4 percent.
"We are very excited to add one of the league's most prolific three-point shooters in Jason Kapono," said Sixers president and general manager Ed Stefanski in a news release. "We feel that this move addresses our goal of improving our shooting from the perimeter. I want to thank Reggie Evans for his contributions to the team for the past two seasons, and we wish him only the best."
Stefanski would not comment further yesterday, but today will hold a teleconference discussing the trade in greater depth.
"Reggie Evans will certainly add an element of toughness to our team," Raptors president and general manager Bryan Colangelo said in a statement. "He has very good rebounding and defensive instincts, addressing two areas where we have underperformed."
Since Stefanski traded sharpshooter Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz in the middle of the 2007-08 season, the Sixers' three-point shooting has been flatter than week-old soda, leaving their offense one dimension short of effective.
Yesterday, the Sixers gambled by exchanging Evans' hustle for Kapono's smooth outside shooting.
Evans, entering his eighth NBA season, averaged only 3.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.4 minutes a game last season, but he has a career rebounding average of 12.6 rebounds per 36 minutes played. Evans has two seasons left on his contract. He will make $4.6 million this season and $5 million in 2010-11.
Kapono, entering his seventh NBA season and, pending the physical, playing for his fifth NBA team, is known as one of the purest outside shooters in the league, although he often relies on teammates to create his shots rather than creating himself.
Kapono, like Evans, has two seasons remaining on his contract. He is scheduled to make $6.2 million this coming season, $6.6 million the year after.
Kapono has a career average of 7.5 points per game and averaged 7.7 points a game in two somewhat disappointing seasons with the Raptors. In the 2007 off-season - one season after Kapono shot a red-hot 51.4 percent from the three-point line and two seasons after he won the 2006 NBA title with the Miami Heat - Toronto used its entire mid-level exception on Kapono, signing him to a four-year, $24-million deal.
Kapono shot only 42.8 percent last season for the Raptors, which, while below his career average, is better than any Sixer who played more than 10 minutes a game last year. Kapono made 98 three-pointers last season, 18 more than Andre Iguodala, who led the Sixers.
A week ago, the Sixers introduced new head coach Eddie Jordan, who brings with him the Princeton offense, a motion, cutting, passing scheme that works more efficiently when strong outside shooters - or in this case, a shooter - spread the floor.
Kapono should provide that option.
Through this past season and into the off-season, Stefanski had promised to address the team's poor outside shooting using either the upcoming draft, free agency, or via trade.
With Kapono's pending addition, Stefanski has quickly upgraded the Sixers' outside shooting from weak to legitimate, although in Evans he has lost a fan favorite and one of the team's most aggressive defensive players.
The loss of Evans, coupled with the impending loss of free-agent center Theo Ratliff, leaves the Sixers with two fewer big men down low and affects their interior physicality, as returning center Jason Smith is more effective on the perimeter.
The next off-season step for the Sixers is the June 25 NBA draft, in which the Sixers have the 17th pick. Because last season's starting point guard, Andre Miller, is an unrestricted free agent, many mock drafts have the Sixers selecting North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson in case Miller signs elsewhere once free agency begins July 1.
Jason Kapono's statistics
Year, team G MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG PPG
03-04, Cavaliers 41 10.4 40.3 47.7 83.3 1.3 3.5
04-05, Bobcats 81 18.4 40.1 41.2 82.4 2.0 8.5
05-06, Heat 51 13.0 44.6 39.6 84.8 1.4 4.1
06-07, Heat 67 26.4 49.4 51.4 89.2 2.7 10.9
07-08, Raptors 81 18.9 48.8 48.3 86.0 1.5 7.2
08-09, Raptors 80 22.9 43.2 42.8 81.0 2.0 8.2
Career 401 19.2 44.7 45.4 84.7 1.9 7.5