The 76ers are considering bringing back Allen Iverson, this according to a source with knowledge of the situation. It's not a done deal, but the team has changed its stance from 0 percent possibility as of last year to considering bringing back the team's all-star point guard from the 90's and early 2000's.
The Sixers have had Iverson on their radar this entire year, but when point guard Lou Williams injured his jaw, requiring surgery and 8 weeks sidelined, the issue became more pressing. According to the source, the team is in the process of seeing if they can make an Iverson deal work.
FoxSports.com has reported that Sixers coach Eddie Jordan might make a trip to Atlanta -- Iverson's home -- after this weekend's two-game swing to San Antonio and Dallas. That piece of information, according to the source, is advanced where the two parties are, but it is a possibility that Iverson could be a Sixer within a week. Early this coming week, Iverson is supposedly meeting with his former Georgetown coach, John Thompson, who reportedly will try talking Iverson out of the retirement he announced on Thursday.
According to the source, Iverson is only one guard on their list of potential guards they could sign. So this is in consideration, but not being hotly pursued.
The Sixers are below this season's luxury-tax threshold, so they could sign Iverson for the season without huge financial ramifications.
Iverson parted ways with the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this season.
There's two ways to look at this possibility: 1.) Why do this? Doesn't it set the team back? Sixers General Manager Ed Stefanski has said he wants to develop his young core. He refused to trade some of those guys last year because he believed so much in the young nucleus of this team. Williams' injury looked like an opportunity for Jrue Holiday to develop. Sure, he would struggle some this year, but the kid is good. All those minutes would help the Sixers in the long run. In two months, Williams would be back and possibly starting alongside Holiday -- if the kid proved he was ready. That's a backcourt that could start for years to come.
Which brings you to the question: What's the plan for this season? At 5-11, it's still too early to say whether they'll be a playoff team or not. Clearly, if you sign Iverson, you're saying that you're worried about right now. That you want to win this season. But can you win with Iverson? How many more wins is he going to get you? And at what cost? At the cost of developing a promising rookie and exposing your young team, once again, to a player that had some issues (that's a kind way of putting it) while he was here.
But the real way to look at it right now is from a business standpoint. Iverson will sell tickets. The Memphis game was the highest attendance of the season. He will boost intrigue, relevance, profitabiltiy -- all those things. And let's be honest, the Sixers are pretty boring right now. They're injured, they likely need someone to come in and be another body, but how can that be Iverson, who will not come in and be another player on the roster, but rather expect to be the player on the roster. How will that sit with Iguodala? What will happen with Brand?
This is a confusing state for the Sixers right now, and for anyone who's been around them for the last two years. It really seemed like the Iverson chapter had been closed in this city. The support staff, the front office, the players, they'd all moved on and did not appear to have any desire to return. But a rough start to the season, a few injuries, and now it looks like the Sixers are a few days, some phone calls, and a meeting from bringing back a guy they said they'd never bring back.
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