Sixers GM Billy King made good on his promise to not hastily deal Allen Iverson by hastily dealing Allen Iverson to the Nuggets! The good news for AI (besides getting the hell away from Chris Webber) is that he will get plenty of shots...for the next 15 games.
We're thinking come mid-January the Nuggets will have 2001 Blazers-like chemistry problems, with two 30-point scorers in the mix and still no defense or outside shooting (Denver is 31% on 3s this year, 24th in the league). And losing one of the best playmakers in the league in Andre Miller will hurt. Folks will say AI was a top-ten assist man in 2005 and 2006, but that was more of a product of him handling the ball so much. The man shoots first, people.
But, anyway, deep down inside we feel Jerry West was insane to not even make a move for the Answer.
The collapse of the Grizzlies this year has gone mostly ignored, much like their three consecutive winning seasons. But an AI trade to Memphis was out of the question because it made sense. The Grizz have found success by being the "unselfish hustle" guys, which is exactly the personnel AI needs to be surrounded by. Even with their disastrous start, they still manage to be 10th in the league in fewest points allowed.
But Memphis is a team that needs scoring in the worst way(their watered-down offense caused other teams to refer to them as a "first round bye"). They are currently 28th in the league in scoring, which is mostly due to Pau's foot injury, but isn't surprising since Memphis nearly finished in the bottom 10 in scoring the last two years. And last year they were dead last in pace of game (which is an elaborate calculation that basically tells you how boring the team is). When the defense clamps down on Pau Gasol, the Grizz needed huge games from guys like Mike Miller and Eddie Jones to stay competitive. The team struggles to create shots, and AI would've been that go-to guy.
What should also be alarming to Jerry West and company is that, even after posting a 49-win season, the Grizzlies are still in the basement in league attendance, down from 26th last year. So even when winning no one pays attention to the Grizzlies. AI could have be the jolt of life this franchise needs. He is the type of player that will get people talking about the team and, more importantly, going to games.
Salary-wise Memphis could have made it happen. Philadelphia would take on the expiring contract of Eddie Jones, and Memphis would likely have to part with Rudy Gay and/or Hakim Warrick and draft picks. I'd rather see Memphis find a way to hang on to Rudy; Hakim Warrick is a tough fit in Memphis since him and Pau are both interior players with questionable shooting range, plus Rudy Gay has more upside.
That would leave their starting lineup with AI, Mike Miller, Rudy Gay, Gasol and Stromile Swift. Their bench is still painfully thin, but this squad is at least as good as the 49-win group from last year.
Then add in the fact that the Grizzlies' current skid does wonders for their odds in the Greg Oden draft...