(Boulder-CO) Hold onto your hats, Nuggets fans. Denver might be in the hunt for Allen Iverson, and this time it looks like he is getting out of Philly for real! Reports are flying off hoops writers’ keyboards so fast that I wouldn’t be surprised if AI already has his bags packed.
In today’s New York Post, Peter Vescey reports that, and I quote, “According to two agents whose clients play for the 76ers, Iverson went to team president Billy King this past Tuesday and demanded to be traded, something he professed repeatedly over the years he'd never do.”
Vescey adds, “According to two general managers King contacted yesterday, the 76ers are aggressively attempting to accommodate their forlorn franchise player, whose prohibitive salary (currently $17.1 million with $19M and $20.8M remaining) makes him a difficult sell despite a 31-point average - at least if the Sixers hope to harvest relatively equal value.”
Things continue to disintegrate further in the article when an undisclosed 76er’s player told his agent, “Iverson, indeed, gave up (talking about the last loss). “ If you know your leader doesn't care, how are we supposed to play with the guy?”
Finally, and most important to Nuggets fans, when all the Iverson-Cheeks mud was finished being thrown, the Nuggets were one of the teams mentioned as in the hunt for AI.
Vescey writes, “Denver's George Karl expressed interest at one point last season. Andre Miller, Linas Kleiza and Joe Smith might pique the 76ers' interest.” Let’s sure hope so because with Andre Miller potentially traded. The Nuggets would have to replace him and his near fifteen points and nine assists with some one of Allen Iverson’s caliber. Andre has been playing fantastic as of late and even though he missed the game winner against the Hawks. That game’s loss was not directly his fault. All the Nuggets should have a bad taste in their mouths after that one.
What is also exciting for Nuggets fans about all the Iverson hoopla is stemming from Mark Kiszla’s article in today’s Denver Post. Kiszla’s second sentence is, “What's the answer (referring to the way that Carmelo Anthony reacted after the Hawks loss and not getting the final shot)? Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers.
And what follows had my jaw swinging in the air! Kiszla writes, “Iverson is back on the trade block, according to a league source, who said the Nuggets are among the teams that have been contacted to measure interest in the 31-year-old point guard.”
The rest of the article chronicles the turbulent ups and downs of the previous Iverson/Denver trade struggles and points out that an injured Nene isn’t helping the situaton, but doesn’t rule out that the trade could go down. Some how, some way…
Kiszla also reports that Carmelo Anthony is not only an Iverson fan, but seems to have a kinderd understanding of where the 31-year old, former MVP and scoring champion, is coming from. Carmelo is quoted in Kiszla’s article saying, “I love playing with A.I.,” said Anthony, teammate to Iverson at the 2004 Summer Olympics. “I'm comfortable with him, because I come from where he came from.”
The rest of the article is a great read, and I encourage you to read it, but the question on my mind is if there is a way to land Iverson. Are the Nuggets willing to do what I takes to make it happen? They have two first round picks in the “loaded” 2007 draft, and the aforementioned names of tradable players, but is the money too much for the Nuggets to swing without including Nene will be the question that needs to be answered. Nearly 60 million bucks over six years is what the Brazilian big man is set to make, and without shipping off that kind of financial burden, I do not see how it could work.
I’m sure the 76ers would love to have a player like Andre Miller in their fold, but sometimes the NBA isn’t about player-for-player trades. The numbers have to work first, before names even matter. I would miss Nene and what he could potential bring to the game of the Nuggets, but this would be a chance of a lifetime to pair AI with ‘Melo. In my assessment, such a deal, any deal, would turn this Nuggets team from a strong contender to make it out of first round into a team that could compete for a championship. I’m rooting, hoping, and praying that this could happen, but I am not going to get too excited. Remember Nuggets fans; we have been down this road before.
The articles that I referenced are readable by clicking the following links. Both are tremendous reads and I suggest you give a glance.
Peter Vescey’s article in the New York Post here