Ed Stefanski has made his first deal
as the Sixers' GM and I'm left with mixed feelings about it. The Sixers sent Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz for a first-round draft pick and the disgruntled Gordan Giricek.
I suppose this means Stefanski didn't see Korver as one of the building blocks for the future. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment, but if he does, the move makes a lot of sense. They unloaded Korver's remaining 4 years and almost $20M in salary and got back an expiring contract in Giricek ($4M this season) and probably a late first-round pick, presumably in this year's draft. More cap room and another first rounder for a guy the Sixers paid cash to the New Jersey Nets for. Not bad.
As for this season, and any hopes of a playoff run, I don't think this move helps. Giricek is nowhere near the shooter that Korver is. He did shoot 42% from three last season, but his career mark is 37%. The Sixers struggles from deep will only get worse with Korver's departure. From a fan's point of view, I'm sad to see Korver go. He always gave everything he had on the floor, and even if it wasn't always enough, you knew you were going to get maximum effort from the guy every night. I hope he does well in Utah, I think he'll help them a great deal, and he'll probably see decent minutes alongside Boozer and Williams.
There could be one huge benefit to this deal for the Sixers, and that's the development of Thad Young. I doubt Giricek will see the heavy minutes Korver played for Philly. If those extra minutes go to Thad, this move could help a great deal. The more minutes Thad sees this year, the better as far as I'm concerned.
All told, Korver is the superior player in the deal, but Giricek's expiring contract and the draft pick swing the pendulum in the Sixers favor. This is probably a win for Stefanski, and if that cap money is the difference between snagging Josh Smith in the offseason and settling for a lesser player, it'll turn out to be a huge win.
One other minor note, the Sixers finally have a Euro on their roster. Ricky from Sixers 4 Guidos
will be pleased.