In an effort to create more salary cap space, the 76ers traded Kyle Korver today to the Utah Jazz for Gordan Giricek and a first round draft pick.
Giricek, who is making $4 million this season, has an expiring contract.
Korver, who is earning nearly $4.4 million this year, has $15.4 million owed to him in the next three years after this one.
The first round pick is protected, according to Sixers president and general manager Ed Stefanski.
The pick can start in 2009 and the Sixers have seven years in which to make it. There are different protections for each year, according to Stefanski.
Teams protect picks in case they are in the situation to receive a high choice, thus not losing it.
Stefanski estimated that the Sixers are $10 million under next year’s salary cap, which may be the most room any team has in the league.
“We felt this was a move for the plan that we have made to look to try to secure cap space in the summer,” Stefanski said via conference calls. “The pick could be a player or a chip in a future trade.”
As for how Giricek will fit into the team, Stefanski says that it will be up to coach Maurice Cheeks.
Still, Stefanski said that Korver’s trade benefits four players as far as receiving more playing time – Thaddeus Young, Willie Green, Rodney Carney and Lou Williams.
Like Korver, Giricek is known as a perimeter shooter. This season he has had scant playing time and is averaging 4.3 points per game.
Korver, who has had an up and down season, has is averaging 10 points.
Ironically, the Sixers and will meet the Jazz Wednesday in Utah.
Giricek is expected to join the Sixers for Sunday’s game in Portland against the Trail Blazers.
Stefanski, realizing that Korver was among the most popular players with his teammates and the fans,
“Kyle, even though I haven’t been personally here in his career, I’ve seen his work from afar and he is a good basketball player that you hate to lose,” Stefanski said. “Besides a good basketball player, he is better as a person.”
Stefanski said that Korver took the news with class.
“He was gracious,” Stefanski said. “He is a terrific young man.”