The Pistons Trade For Allen Iverson
Deal leaves many asking what is Joe Dumars thinking?
By Badger of Predictem.com
Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars vowed to shake things up,
and thats exactly what he did Monday when he traded point guard
Chauncey Billups, forward/center Antonio McDyess and the rights to
center Cheikh Samb to the Denver Nuggets for guard Allen Iverson.
Yes, that’s right folks, “AI” will be taking his hairstyles, braid designs, tattoos, crossover dribble, dunks and amusing quotes to the Detroit with hopes of bringing the NBA title to Motor City.
The deal, finalized late Monday morning, sends Iverson back to the
Eastern Conference, while it sends Billups back to his hometown of
Denver and back to the state he starred in when he was at the
University of Colorado.
Dumars shook his fist at reporters and with a look of disgust on his
face promised to do something big to the Pistons after Boston
eliminated them from the Eastern Conference playoffs last season.
Many initially thought that Dumars meant he would send oft-malcontent
Rasheed Wallace packing, but now it seems he meant adding another
malcontent into the mix by trading for Iverson.
The Pistons already replaced head coach Flip Saunders with first-year coach Michael Curry. Now Curry gets to figure out how to get Iverson,
shooting guard Rip Hamilton and point guard Rodney Stuckey into a
formidable guard rotation. The Pistons really like Stuckey, the
second-year pro from Eastern Washington, but that would mean bringing
either Iverson or Hamilton off the bench, something Im sure neither
of them want to do.
The trade is especially interesting from the Denver Nuggets standpoint.
Desperate for a true point guard since dealing Andre Miller to get
Iverson back in December of 2006, the Nuggets would be considered
HUGE winners in this deal if they are able to retain McDyess.
McDyess, who started his career in Denver, reportedly is not interested in playing anywhere but in Detroit. So he will either
retire, or do one of those contract buyout-resign with old team
tricks that seem to happen often in the NBA. The Nuggets could use
McDyess after dumping Marcus Camby in the offseason in a trade with
the Los Angeles Clippers.
Deal Done For Long-Term Gain?
The only reason this deal makes sense for the Pistons is the
impending salary ramifications.
Iverson, now 33-years-old, is in the final year of his contract that
pays him 20.8 million. Billips is 32 and still has three years and 50-
plus million left on his current contract.
Even if the gamble by Dumars doesnt pay off, the Pistons will clear the books of Iversons contract at seasons end and will have ample loads of cash to spend in free agency to provide the real shakeup
Dumars promised to make.
Now, in the Short-Term
For now, this trade is basically Iverson for Billips since we dont
know if McDyess will ever show up in Denver. So lets look at what it
provides in the short term.
As mentioned, the Pistons now have to find playing time and shots for both Hamilton and Iverson. It does give Curry an interesting
small lineup option, with Stuckey, Iverson, Hamilton, Tayshaun
Prince and Jason Maxiell (or Wallace). But they do it by giving away,
arguably, the heart and soul of the Pistons team in Billips. Either
way, Im not sure the deal puts the Pistons ahead of the Celtics or
LeBrons Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conferences pecking order.
For the Nuggets, the deal looks good on its face. They get a
marketing bonanza out of it by bringing Billips back home to his
Denver roots. Plus, they get to keep him and pair him up with Carmelo
Anthony to form a solid one-two punch. But without Camby, and
possibly without McDyess now too, the Nuggets were competing for the
Western Conferences eighth playoff spot anyway. Not sure if they
will have enough frontcourt presence to do much if they would make
the playoffs, and thats still a very big if.