According to the fine folks at ESPN.com, Allen Iverson is on his way to Denver to play for the Nuggets.
From the Mile High side of the table, I have mixed feelings on this one.
On one hand, the thought of Iverson playing with Carmelo Anthony is tremendously exciting. After all, they’re the league’s top scorers. Plus, I don’t necessarily buy into the notion that Iverson will shoot, shoot and shoot. He’s averaging more than seven assists a game right now, and with potent scorers like Anthony and J.R. Smith, this marks a change for The Answer. He can actually rely on someone else to do some scoring when he wants a break.
Now, does that mean I think this will work? No. I’m not saying that it won’t, but I’m a little concerned about what this will do to Carmelo Anthony once he gets back from his sabbatical. Anthony has been The Man in Denver for three years, and he signed a max contract in the off-season to continue that role for years to come. How will he handle being the Co-Man with Iverson? That’s a question that can’t be answered yet, and his suspension complicates matters a bit.
What happens if Iverson and the Nuggets start rolling without Anthony, and then face major re-adjusting again when Anthony returns from suspension? Will chemistry be affected when he comes back?
For Denver, there’s no way out of this plan since they’ve moved draft picks and they’ve eaten up their cap space by trading for A.I. However, I like that Denver is going for it in an already loaded West. I think George Karl has the ability to make this work, but there’s a lot of questions that ironically must be Answered. Sorry, that was horrible.
Now, from the Philadelphia side of things, I don’t care for the trade at all. Billy King could have gone any direction he wanted here, and he wasn’t in a hurry as of two days ago. Suddenly, boom, it’s over.
What does he get for his patience? An expiring contract (Joe Smith) and a point guard who arguably may have had his best days behind him (Andre Miller). Sure, the Sixers get two first round draft picks in this year’s deep draft, but both picks are likely to be in the 20s, so big deal.
Is Joe Smith’s expiring contract and two first round picks enough for Iverson? King doesn’t come out of this with any All-Stars or lottery picks, and while the Sixers appear to be in the driver’s seat for Greg Oden’s services, they would have been in that position regardless of what they got back for Iverson.
By not holding out for Randy Foye, Shaun Livingston or J.R. Smith, it feels to me as though Philadelphia got less than what I was expecting them to get, and I wasn’t expecting them to get enough in the first place.
We’ll see what else happens here, as Billy King may just be getting started in the rebuilding phase. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and see how he uses his three first-round picks. However, if I’m Joe Sixer Fan, I’m not happy right now.
So, the saga is finally over. Denver, on paper, joins Phoenix, Utah, San Antonio and Dallas as the frontrunners in the Western Conference. Are two superstars enough to win a championship? Absolutely. Will this move translate to a title? We shall see, but one way or another, the ride is going to be a fun one.