As I write this, a little after noon, word is spreading that former 76ers star Allen Iverson is on the verge of being traded from the Denver Nuggets to the Detroit Pistons.
UPDATE: The deal is official.
No great surprise, considering the Nuggets are the same team that sent Marcus Camby to the Los Angeles Clippers in a salary dump. But consider Iverson's path since he led the 2000-01 Sixers to the NBA Finals: In December, 2006, then-president/general manager Billy King traded thim to the Nuggets; last season, he was a Nuggets tri-captain; this season, the Nuggets went to co-captains, and he wasn't one of them.
Remember when the Sixers traded Kyle Korver to the Utah Jazz and got back ''the expiring contract'' of Gordan Giricek? That's what the Pistons are getting, and it's a big one: $20,840,625. The Nuggets are reportedly getting Chauncey Billups ($11,050,000) and Antonio McDyess ($6,813,000), although it isn't clear whether McDyess will remain with them. Detroit also is giving up project Cheikh Samb.
The Pistons are clearing the decks for Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson, but first-year coach Michael Curry--as tough-minded as he is--suddenly has a whole lot of adjusting to do. But even as I say that, I have enormous respect for Joe Dumars, the Pistons president of basketball operations; if he believes this is the right path for his team, I have to believe it has a terrific chance of succeeding.
Just remember, Dumars is the guy who brought in Larry Brown for two seasons: A championship and a second trip to the Finals. He also had no qualms about seeing Brown go. I recall asking Dumars about that. He said: ''The mission was for him to win. He did that.''
“We just felt it was the right time to change our team,” Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars told the Associated Press. “Iverson gives us a dimension that we haven’t had here and we really think its going to help us”
It appears that Iverson could be the pawn that gives the Pistons the flexibility to do something really big later on.