Monday , Nov , 03 , 2008 Oly Sandor

No risk, no reward: Why Denver and Detroit gambled with Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups blockbuster

By now, you’ve read the analysis. And by now, you’ve argued who won and lost a dozen times over with co-workers and facebook friends. Instead of giving another breakdown, I’m applauding both sides for refusing to accept their current situation and trying to improve. Make no mistake, Detroit and Denver both gambled. Big time …


No risk, no reward: Why Denver and Detroit gambled with Allen Iverson, Chauncey Billups blockbusterSo much for Detroit not changing. And so much for Denver keeping things thrifty.

In case you missed it, these two squads pulled off an intriguing blockbuster. The Nuggets sent Allen Iverson to the Pistons in exchange for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb.  

By now, you’ve read the analysis. And by now, you’ve argued who won and lost a dozen times over with co-workers and facebook friends. Instead of giving another breakdown, I’m applauding both sides for refusing to accept their predicament and trying to improve.

Make no mistake, Detroit and Denver both gambled. Big time.

Piston executive Joe Dumars could’ve once again sent out his big four, reclined in his leather recliner, and collected another 55 win season. The Hall of Fame guard knew his current group would fall short come playoffs, so he changed his nucleus –and drastically.

The ‘D’ is now younger and cheaper. The club has just 38 million dollars on the books for next season and, with Rip Hamilton’s extension, 27 million dollars for 2009-2010. Adding prime free agents with youngsters Rodney Stuckey, Jason Maxiell, Tayshaun Prince, and Arron Afflalo is the priority.

Dealing Billups is a risk, though. Mr. ‘Big Shot’ was the franchise face, a clutch performer who led by example. Yet, things had clearly stagnated and changes were eventually coming. Even though Stuckey is a rising star, I didn’t expect Billups to be departing just yet.

Meanwhile, the Nuggets were supposed to be holding a fire sale. All veterans must go. No offer too low. Marcus Camby was first gift-wrapped and given to the Los Angeles Clippers for cap space. Iverson was tabbed as the next to go, but most predicted Denver wanted back a combination of expiring contracts, inexpensive blue-chip prospects, and draft picks.

Well, think again. Instead of rebuilding on the cheap, The ‘Mile High City’ tried rebuilding on the fly, adding a pair of former Nuggets. I’m not sure this move improves the product long-term, but underwriting the remaining 48 million dollars on Billups’ contract takes guts, especially in the current economic climate.

Detroit and Denver could have played it safe, but chose otherwise. Whatever you think of the deal, the philosophy behind it deserves respect.

What are your thoughts on the Pistons and Nuggets gambling? Should either team have played it safe? Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for further NBA stuff. Photo courtesy of coursond34.