Where is Iverson headed?
(Sports Network) – Philadelphia is committed to trading All-Star Allen Iverson. The Sixers would like to acquire expiring contracts, young players and draft picks in a deal for the dynamic guard.
However, the fact is the Sixers will not get fair value for Iverson, who asked to be traded last week. The Georgetown product has a big contract, and all of Philadelphia’s possible trading partners know that the Sixers’ hand has been forced.
The 31-year-old Iverson, who was originally selected by Philadelphia with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1996 draft, has spent his entire career with the 76ers and led the team to the 2001 NBA Finals. Iverson, who was the NBA’s MVP in the 2000-01 campaign, is averaging 31.2 points and 7.3 assists per game this season.
This is the right move for Philadelphia, which is ready to completely rebuild its roster. Iverson wants to play for a contender, but team president Billy King is going to make the best trade for the franchise.
Here are some teams King may be talking to about the superstar guard.
1. BOSTON CELTICS – The Celtic have plenty of young players to send to Philadelphia. Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, Sebastian Telfair and Delonte West all have upside. Head of basketball operations Danny Ainge may offer a combination of three of those players plus Theo Ratliff or Wally Szczerbiak so the deal would work under the league’s salary cap.
Does Philadelphia really want to send Iverson to the Celtics, and watch him haunt them for the next several years? Even though the Sixers won’t be a contender and it won’t effect them in the big picture, watching Iverson and Paul Pierce make Boston into a winner would be very painful for Philadelphia’s fans and the organization.
2. CHICAGO BULLS – Philadelphia would love to make a deal with the Bulls. Ben Gordon, a draft pick and the expiring contracts of P.J. Brown and Michael Sweetney for Iverson would be a great deal for King to pull off.
Not gonna happen! Chicago wants to win with defense. That’s why they spent a lot of money on four-time Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace during the offseason. Adding Iverson would change everything.
3. DENVER NUGGETS – Iverson would look great in the same lineup with Carmelo Anthony. Head coach George Karl could probably handle Iverson’s antics and would be up for the challenge.
Point guard Andre Miller would be one piece of the trade, but what else can Denver offer that would interest King? Forward Joe Smith, who played 30 games for the Sixers during the 1997-98 campaign, is in the last year of his contract, and 21-year-old Linas Kleiza could develop into a productive player. Kleiza, Miller, Smith and a draft pick could interest King.
4.MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES – This could be a fit. Veteran Eddie Jones, who played his college ball at Temple, and guard Dahntay Jones are in the last year of their contracts. Add a first-round pick, and there’s the deal.
The Sixers rid themselves of Iverson and send him to a team that won’t haunt them. The Grizzlies are struggling big time without All-Star forward Pau Gasol, who is still out with a left foot injury, which he suffered while competing for Spain in the FIBA world championships during last summer. The acquisition of Iverson would excite Grizzlies’ fans big time.
5.MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES – Iverson is just the player to rejuvenate All-Star forward Kevin Garnett. Plus, the Sixers are very high on guard Randy Foye, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2006 draft.
The Timberwolves can make a deal happen with Philadelphia, but they have to be flexible as the Sixers don’t seem to be thrilled about the possibility of bringing Ricky Davis to the City of Brotherly Love. What about big man Mark Blount, Foye, Mike James and a draft pick for Iverson? James and Blount have multiple years left on their deals, but they could probably be moved in future deals.
6.NEW YORK KNICKS – The Knicks can send the Sixers their garbage, but they can also take back forward Chris Webber’s contract in a trade. Once again, does Philadelphia really want to trade Iverson to a team in their own division?
King needs to stay away from the phone when Isiah Thomas and Ainge call. Don’t even get tempted.
12/11 12:19:17 ET