Update: Originally posted 12/29/07 at Biased Fan. This move has really turned out well for the Jazz, even though KoKo’s shooting has disappeared as of late. Giricek is currently a Sun…
EDIT: According to Sixer GM Ed Stefanski the draft pick is protected. The first year the pick can be granted is 2009, and there are different protections for each year.
Well, that didn’t take long. One game after re-instating Gordan Giricek (who was never actually suspended in the first place), the Jazz dealt him to Philadelphia for Kyle Korver. Going to Philadelphia along with Giricek is a 1st round pick. Seeing the headline originally made me extremely excited. Seeing the first round pick took some of the excitement away, but not much (yet).
Of course, it all comes down to how the Jazz use Korver. If they are willing to let him back-up AK at the 3-spot (and maybe even back-up at the 2-spot occasionally), the Jazz could gain a huge advantage. He was the Sixers top 3-point threat (he’s a career 40.9% shooter from long range, though it’s fallen to 35.2% so far this year), and if he starts connecting, he could be huge for the Jazz. But, on the other hand, Jerry Sloan has a crush on Matt Harpring, and if that keeps up, Korver might not be playing very often. In that case, the Jazz lose big time. Sitting Korver, and trading a first round pick to be able to do that, would be a huge blunder by the Jazz. They need to use Korver… he’s more or less a first round pick for them. The Sixers are a young team, the 1st round pick (hopefully some future “lottery-protected” pick) could be big for them (and is probably the big reason behind the deal). Also, Giricek’s contract comes off the books after the year, which’ll help them. So he’ll have a bit more than half the season to impress the Sixers (and the rest of the league). The 26 year-old Korver has 2 years left on his contract (plus the rest of this year), and is scheduled to make $4.5 million this year (Giricek is making $4 million this year). Korver is 4 years younger than Giricek, a bit taller, and more of an outside threat. The question is… can he play defense?
Until we see the roles that the 2 guys are going to play on their new teams, it’s hard to pick a “winner” of the deal. Could the Jazz have gotten more if they had waited? Maybe. Or maybe not. Personally, I’m a fan of Korver, and I have no problem with the deal (depending on the restrictions with the 1st round pick). I would love to see Korver come into Utah and give the Jazz a viable outside threat (though CJ Miles has been doing that recently too) to complement Booze.
The Jazz play Boston tonight, not sure if Korver will be in Utah in time. But he should be here for the next game… a January 2nd home date against… Philadelphia.
Best wishes to Gordan. He deserved better than he got here with Jerry. While Philadelphia might not be his home for long (they seem likely to shed his salary after the season), hopefully he’s able to latch on with a team that can better utilize him (and one that doesn’t have a coach that’ll make him a scapegoat for everything).