Even though there was a time when the league wasn’t that profitable and players didn’t make that huge amount of money they do now, The NBA is one of the most lucrative business ever, and that’s not even close.
With the salary cap constantly on the rise, huge sponsorship deals, revenues and you name it, it’s pretty safe to assume that NBA teams are quite comfortable when it comes to adding zeros to their paychecks.
Nonetheless, there was a time where the New Jersey Nets were interested in making… interesting deals, selling their draft picks for, well, not your average asking price, to say the least.
Back in 2003, the team was going through their best years, dominating the Eastern Conference and even making it to the Finals. Still, they sold draft picks in order to pay for their Summer League expenses and... office equipment.
See, right after the Nets “settled” for Kyle Korver with the 51st overall pick of the 2003 Draft, as all of the guys they were keen to pursue were already gone. Then, they immediately sold his rights to the Philadephia 76ers in order to get... a new copy machine, crazy as it may seem.
According to Zach Lowe’s report:
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.
The New Jersey Nets needed to get their numbers in order and considering they were coming off back-to-back seasons of being the team to beat in the East, they thought they had no use for a sharpshooting rookie that was a major defensive liability.
Korver would go on to hold the record for most consecutive games with at least one three-pointer (until Steph Curry snapped it from him) and would go on to become one of the most reliable role players in the entire Association.
Of course, it would take a while for Kyle Korver to establish himself as one of the most prolific sharpshooters ever, but even if he was a late bloomer, the Nets will always be haunted by yet another dumb move their front office did.
Kyle Korver said via ajc.com:
“I’m not sure trade is the right word, I was more or less sold for an undisclosed amount of money,” Korver said in relating the story to the graduating class. “I later found out they used that money to pay for the entry fee for the summer league team and with the leftover money that bought a copy machine. What’s your trade value? Because mine apparently is a copy machine.
“But it’s OK because a couple of years ago, that copy machine broke and I’m still playing.”