The Jazz on Saturday unloaded one shooter and acquired another, pulling the trigger on a trade with Philadelphia that sends unhappy Gordan Giricek and a protected future first-round draft choice to the 76ers and brings 3-point specialist Kyle Korver to Utah.
The 26-year-old Korver was averaging 26.3 reserve-role minutes and 10.0 points per game this season and seems likely to assume a bench role in Utah as well.
He arrives with a career 40.9 shooting percentage from behind the long-distance line, with 1,618 of his 2,919 career shot attempts in excess of 50 percent coming from 3-point range.
"Everyone recognizes he's a very good shooter," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said of Korver, a Creighton University product and 2003 second-round draft choice who has spent all of his first four-plus NBA seasons in Philly.
"And with our team," Sloan added, "his ability to be able to shoot the ball out on the perimeter should help some of our bigger people inside have a better look at the basket."
Korver also arrives with what seems to be a great attitude.
"I'm coming to a good team, a team that has a real chance of winning, of contending," Korver said after arriving in Salt Lake City late Saturday. "And I'm really excited about being a part of that."
Korver also seemed excited about playing for Sloan, something with which Giricek struggled.
"He has a reputation for being tough," Korver said.
"That's kind of a style I was used to growing up. I don't think playing for a tough coach is going to be tough for me. I don't mind being criticized ... I've always taken it well."
The cost for acquiring the zone-busting, streak-shooting swingman: Giricek, a veteran from Croatia who was in his fifth season with the Jazz, and a first-round pick that will be available to the Sixers no sooner than 2009.
The pick will be moved sometime during a seven-year period beginning in '09, and the Jazz while exact details of the protection were not made known seemed confident Saturday that it will not wind up being a (top-14) lottery selection.
While Philadelphia's primary motivation for making the deal was to clear team payroll salary-cap space for next season, Jazz brass went to great lengths Saturday to suggest they were not simply unloading Giricek.
But Jazz general manager Kevin O'Connor did say talks with the 76ers regarding a possible Giricek-Korver "heated up" following the incident.
Giricek who started 191 of his 350 career regular-season games with the Jazz, but came off the bench during all his 22 this season was banished from the team for three games, then was reinstated last Thursday.
"We didn't trade Gordan just to get rid of Gordan," said O'Connor, who supposedly had several suitors interested in acquiring Giricek's expiring contract. "That's not fair to him.
"We wanted to be aggressive and compete in the West, and we think (Korver) can help us do that," added O'Connor, who was working to fulfill Jazz owner Larry H. Miller's desire to improve a struggling club that has lost 11 of its last 14 games. "Larry's premise was get the best deal you can that can help us rather than try to save money."
Korver also the subject of trade interest from multiple NBA teams has two seasons after this one and approximately $10 million remaining on his current contract. It was signed as a five-year, $22 million deal in 2005.
He is making $4.4 million this season ($400,000 less than Giricek), and has an early termination option that would allow him to opt out of the contract for the 2009-10 season.
Korver's scheduled pay for 2009-10 is $5.163 million. Even if he doesn't opt out, it should not adversely affect the Jazz's ability to sign point Deron Williams to a max-money deal without going over the NBA's luxury-tax threshold.
That's just one small reason the Jazz will welcome the sharpshooter with open arms. Even though both players still must pass physical exams before the league formally signs off on the deal, Giricek's old locker already was filled with Korver's new No. 26 jersey on Saturday night.
Others reasons, according to O'Connor, include his "good character" and his "ability to stretch the floor."
That's something the Jazz, who have struggled to knock down outside shots this season, sorely need. And something they hope Korver can provide.
The newest Jazzman didn't make it to town in time for Saturday night's loss to Boston but is expected to attend Monday's morning shoot-around. Utah hosts Portland on Monday night.
"He's a great shooter," Williams said, "who can come in and give us another shooting threat."
Korver not only led the NBA in free-throw shooting last season at 91.4 percent, but is a two-time participant in the league's annual All-Star Weekend 3-point shooting contest.
"You've got a skill like that," O'Connor said, "you've really got to lay a blanket on him."
The knock on Korver throughout his career has been his man-to-man defense ability against quicker players or lack thereof.
O'Connor countered the rap, but ultimately conceded the point."I think he brings a solid team-concept defender," the Jazz GM said."
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