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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sixers Trade Iverson

Billy King may have finally made a good trade. Allen Iverson (and apparently Ivan McFarland) has been traded to the Denver Nuggets for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two first round picks.

Smith is nothing more than an expiring contract. The two 2007 first round picks are expected to be in the 20s in what many are calling a deep draft.

Miller seems to be the wild card. Reports are he has two years left on his contract, but he only makes about half of what Iverson makes, so he’s not a cap killer. Besides that, he’s not necessarily a guy you want to run out of town. In fact, he may be too good.

Miller is only 30 years old, and is averaging 13 points and 9.1 assists per game. He’s a true point guard who may actually improve this team enough to allow it to make the playoffs this year. Think I’m crazy? At an admittedly horrendous 5-18, the Sixers are only 5 games out of the Atlantic Division lead in which every team is under .500. The Sixers were headed toward a very realistic chance at the number one pick and freshman sensation Greg Oden. If they make the playoffs, they actually lose that pick.

I defended Iverson as long as I could, but the best part of this deal may be the proverbial “addition by subtraction” of moving him. Besides ridding themselves of the baggage that was continuously accumulating with him, the team gets a true, high-quality point guard. We’ll finally figure out what Andre Iguodala is all about. My guess is, he’s the only guy good enough to truly benefit enough for it to matter, but there’s a slight chance other guys get to fill roles they were meant to fill, thus improving the team even more.

As a side note, I think Denver is nuts. Carmelo Anthony was just suspended for 15 games. Just when the Nuggets start to adjust to playing with Iverson, another likely more difficult adjustment will take place. They’re currently seeded seventh in the Western Conference playoff race. They could quite possibly tailspin over the next 30 games. Iverson has a history of not playing well with a second scorer. How hard is it to imagine Iverson unhappy in Denver in three months?

Details are still coming out, and time is always needed to evaluate any trade. Iverson provided some incredible memories, and in many ways will be missed. But, overall, this looks like a solid trade for Philadelphia.

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