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Nets sold Kyle Korver on Draft Night 2003 to fund summer league team and buy a copy machine

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USA TODAY Sports

In Zach Lowe's feature on the emergence of Kyle Korver Tuesday, he writes about Korver's journey through the NBA and how it started, bizarrely, with the Nets.

On Draft Night 2003, the Nets were in desperate need of funds to support their summer league program. The team wasn't too interested in anyone on the board at pick 51 and selected Korver, who was immediately shipped to Philadelphia.

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.

Lowe spoke with Rod Thorn about his decision.

"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."

Who was on the other side of the transaction? The Philly GM who as recently as this year mentioned it with great glee?  Billy King.  Teams often stockpile picks with the intent of selling them on Draft Night to finance basketball operations, a league source tells NetsDaily, noting that the $2 million the Nets sent the Trail Blazers in 2012 paid their entire summer budget.

Since then, Korver has emerged as one of the deadliest three-point shooter in NBA history.  He hit 47% of his three-point tries last season in Atlanta. Korver also hit a three in a league-record 127 consecutive games spanning from November of 2012 to this past March.