The 76ers needed a smooth-shooting outside threat, and the Toronto Raptors needed a tough, aggressive rebounder.

So they swapped players: forward Reggie Evans, the inside banger, for swingman Jason Kapono, the smooth shooter.

Kapono, 28, "will fit our style and extend the defense for us," Ed Stefanski, the Sixers' president and general manager, said yesterday in a teleconference, one day after the trade was announced.

The Sixers finished the last two seasons last in the NBA in three-point-shooting percentage.

The trade will not be official until both players pass physicals and the NBA approves the move, although both have been healthy for most of their combined 13 years in the NBA.

With the trade's approval appearing a formality, Stefanski indicated that his team - the players and new head coach Eddie Jordan - were pleased with the move.

"Eddie had a big smile on his face when we told him we got Jason Kapono," Stefanski said. "Elton Brand texted me. He's very happy to get him."

"Andre Iguodala is also happy," Stefanski said. "He feels it will clear lanes for us," and "Thad Young was happy about it, too."

"They all liked Reggie, but we've been sorely missing a player like this," Stefanski said.

Kapono's presence will spread the floor. His career three-point shooting of 45.4 percent is tied with Steve Kerr's for the best in NBA history.

Kapono averaged 7.2 points a game last season for the Raptors, and Evans 3.3 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Sixers.

Each player has two years remaining on his contract. Kapono's is worth $12.8 million over the two years, and Evans' $9.6 million.

Stefanski said Kapono was as excited about his new team's athleticism and its ability to penetrate, draw the defense, and create open outside shots as the Sixers were about his long-range ability.

"There's no doubt what he does for us now is give us a threat out there," Stefanski said. "You have to respect him even if he's not knocking them down on a regular basis. Part of our problem has been our spacing on the floor."

Stefanski conceded that the Sixers had been ineffective from the perimeter, something the fans have witnessed since Stefanski traded Kyle Korver midway through the 2007-08 season.

While Stefanski said there were a few differences between the two - Korver might have been a better rebounder, while Kapono keeps his turnovers low - the team had essentially replaced one shooter with another.

Stefanski said he spoke with Evans, 29, on Tuesday and explained that the team had too many frontcourt players and that his game had proved a valuable asset to the Sixers, allowing them to acquire a much-needed shooter like Kapono.

With Brand returning from last season's season-ending shoulder injury and center Jason Smith from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the numbers in the Sixers' frontcourt were high and the available minutes low.

At the power-forward position, Evans would have battled not just Brand, but also last season's starter, Thaddeus Young, and Marreese Speights, an up-and-coming player who will entering his second season.

At center, the minutes seemed destined for starter Samuel Dalembert and for Smith.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.