Saturday, December 29, 2007

Panic! at the Delta Center

Kyle Korver, the guy that looks like Ashton Kutcher or perhaps the lead singer of an emo band (thus the title of the post), has just been traded.

The Sixers, who are clearly looking to build around Igoudala, Dalembert, Thaddeous Young, and Lou Williams, are no doubt ecstatic to have unloaded Korver and the three years he has left on a contract that pays him almost $5 million per. In return they got the expiring contract of Gordon Giricek and a future first round pick (a conditional pick that will be used sometime between 2009 and 2014). The pick is all well and good, but it is the contract situation that makes this a great trade for Philly, as they now have more than $10 million in cap space for the upcoming summer - and that's before they make the inevitable Andre Miller trade. Suddenly, the Sixers have a nice young core and will be the only major player in a buyer's free agent market that could feature the likes of Elton Brand and Gilbert Arenas. Perhaps the rebuilding effort in Philly will be happening quicker than everyone first imagined.

Meanwhile, this seems like a panic trade by the Jazz. There was a falling out with Giricek, but that doesn't entirely explain why they would move this valuable trade chip (his contract, not his game, obviously) so quickly for Korver. This trade has nothing to do with Giricek being a big baby and everything to do with the fact that Utah is currently out of the playoff picture and coming off an absolute beatdown at the hands of the Lakers last night. Just seven months removed from the Western Conference Finals, the Jazz appear to have been lapped by the Lakers, Hornets, and Blazers, not to mention the Nuggets and Warriors. Considering outside shooting is the major weak spot on the Utah roster, it is easy to see why they would pull the trigger on Korver.

Which means that even if it was a panic trade, it was still probably a good trade. Korver won't play huge minutes but he allows them to space the floor and open things up for Boozer inside and Deron Williams on the attack. Plus, he's a great free throw shooter that will help Utah protect leads.

Korver isn't a great player and he probably isn't worth an expiring contract and a first round pick, but at the same time, this isn't fantasy basketball. The sum is often greater or less than the individual parts. In this case, a panic trade just might be the thing that turns Utah's season around.

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