Hawks forward Kyle Korver has developed into one of the NBA’s unique weapons, a 3-point gunner at a time outside shooting is viewed more favorably than ever.
Once decried as a gimmick, 3-pointers are both efficient in themselves and valuable for spacing the floor.
But teams didn’t fully realize that when Korver entered the league in 2003.
As the second round of the 2003 draft puttered along, the Nets watched as teams ahead of them plucked every player in which New Jersey had interest. The team, fresh off an Atlantic Division win and an appearance in the NBA Finals, was so low on cash, it considered selling the pick to finance its summer league team.
With none of their preferred choices on the board, the Nets brass selected Creighton forward Kyle Korver with the 51st pick — and immediately sold his draft rights to the Sixers for $125,000. That covered summer league. With the leftover cash, the Nets bought a new copy machine.
“We gave away a good player for summer league,” says Rod Thorn, the Nets GM at the time. “It was just one of those things we had to do. At least, that’s how I rationalized it.”
Summer-league costs can get expensive, especially for a team stuck in New Jersey and not drawing fans. There are entry fees, per diems and medical expenses. Plus, a copier is a valuable tool in any office.
But I think I’d prefer Korver.