Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sixers get their shooter

The Sixers have traded the popular Reggie Evans to Toronto for sharp-shooter Jason Kapono.

The 6-foot-8 Kapono is one of the top three-point shooters in the NBA and just completed his sixth NBA season.

The UCLA product has appeared in 321 career games with 61 starts, averaging 7.3 points and 1.9 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game.

“We are very excited to add one of the league’s most prolific three-point shooters in Jason Kapono,” Sixers GM Ed Stefanski said. “We feel that this move addresses our goal of improving our shooting from the perimeter."

Kapono won the NBA’s 3-point contest in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008 and is tied with Steve Kerr for the highest three-point shooting percentage in NBA history (.454).

Last season, Kapono appeared in all but one game for the Raptors, averaging 7.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and a career-high 1.3 assists while shooting 43.2% from the floor, 42.8% from 3-point range and 81.0% from the foul line. He ranked 12th in the NBA in three-point percentage.

Kapono was originally a second round pick (31st overall) by Cleveland in the 2003 NBA Draft and spent one season with the Cavaliers before being selected by Charlotte in the 2004 NBA Expansion Draft.

Kapono signed with Miami as a restricted free agent in October of 2005 and was a member of the Heat’s championship team that season. Following two seasons with Miami, Kapono signed as a free agent with Toronto in July of 2007.

While with Miami in 2006-07, Kapono enjoyed his best season, averaging career highs of 10.9 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 49.4% from the floor and 51.4% from behind-the-arc, the fifth-highest three-point percentage in a single season in NBA history.

Kapono finished his collegiate career as the third leading scorer in UCLA history behind Don MacLean and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He became the first Bruin to earn first team All Pac-10 honors all four years as well as the first player in school history to lead his team in scoring in four straight seasons.

Evans (6-8, 245) just finished his seventh NBA season and his second with the Sixers. In 79 games with seven starts last season, he averaged 3.3 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game. Evans has ranked in the top-10 in rebounds per 48 minutes played in each of the past six seasons.

"Reggie Evans will certainly add an element of toughness to our team," said Bryan Colangelo, Raptors President and General Manager. "He has very good rebounding and defensive instincts, addressing two areas where we have underperformed."

“I want to thank Reggie Evans for his contributions to the team for the past two seasons and we wish him only the best," Stefanski added.

Evans is owed $4.6 million next season and $5 million in 2010-11 on his contract.

Kapono's deal will pay him $6.2 million this coming season and $6.6 million the season after.

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