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The Iverson Sweepstakes

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Isn't it interesting that on Wednesday ClipsNation posted about possible trades, featuring "Iverson to the Clippers" prominently, and on Friday AI went public with his demand to be traded?  Has AI been reading ClipsNation?

Seriously, it is a little spooky.  I mean, I was just foolin' around.  I didn't want to get Allen in trouble or anything.

If you missed it, you can go read the entire post (all 1700 words), but here's the Iverson deal I proposed:

Allen Iverson makes over $18M per year.  A package of Maggette, Cassell and the F-DECs [F-DEC stands for Foreign Dudes with Expiring Contracts, i.e. Rebraca and Korolev] would work under the cap.  Throw in MBFGC and a first round pick, and the Sixers might listen.  This is the only blockbuster I can think of that makes any sense.  AI is signed through 2009, and is still playing unbelievable basketball.  Pairing him with Livingston and Brand would allow him to play shooting guard, and give him two superstar caliber teammates who just happen to be unselfish.  Cassell becomes expendable if AI comes to LA, especially since AI has always played huge minutes and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  In return, Philly gets salary relief to the tune of $5M next season, and another $14M the season after that, which happens to be the same time as Chris Webber comes off the books.  In other words, they can start over completely, with Sam Dalembert as the only ridiculous contract, by the summer 2008.  In the meantime, they get two seasons of Maggette and Cassell.  Let's face facts, those guys could win the Division THIS YEAR, as bad as the Atlantic is.  Back in LA, a starting lineup of Kaman, Brand, Mobley, AI and Livingston, with Ross, Thomas, Singleton and Ewing on the bench, would immediately become arguably the most talented team in the NBA.

Update [2006-12-9 14:6:1 by ClipperSteve]:Two things: (1) Any trade involving Cassell cannot happen until Dec. 15, since Cassell just re-signed this summer. (2) A team source says the Clippers are not interested in AI.

There's one big problem with this trade:  I think the Sixers will get better offers.  There's not much in it for their future, other than maybe a first round pick and MBFGC.  Someone will undoubtedly offer them more.  It is however a very attractive trade for the Sixers from a cap perspective.  In 07-08, they owe $22M to the untradable Webber, $9+M to Dalembert and are still on the hook for $7M to Laker Aaron McKie.  The date that matters to their cap is summer 08, and this trade works well for that.

There are seven teams listed next to AI's name on ESPN.com's Rumor Central (Insider required): the Celtics, Hawks, Nuggets, Pacers, Warriors, Clippers and Wolves.  Some of the teams I understand (the Celtics pursued AI in the off-season, KG has already started lobbying for Minny, etc.), and some I don't (the Nuggets?  Really?  AI and Carmelo are going to be on the same team?   AI led the league in scoring last year, Melo is leading this year, but there's only the one basketball.  Also, probably not enough quality corn row stylists in Denver to make it work.)  

Atlanta and Boston certainly have the most interesting young talent to offer the Sixers in return.  But in Atlanta's case, you really have to wonder if they believe they are that close, that they'd be willing to blow up what they've started for less than three seasons of AI at 31.  Boston would do anything, because they're Boston and they are expected to win now.  But we also know that Billy King would prefer to trade him to a Western Conference team.

Minnesota really is a great idea from a basketball standpoint.  KG would work well with AI, for the same reasons I outlined concerning EB above (TMI - too many initials!).  But the Wolves seem to have less to offer the Sixers than the Clippers do.  Rookie Randy Foye went to Villanova, so he'd be a fan favorite, but they've got barely $1M expiring this summer, and then only another $9M in summer 08.  So to make the deal work, Philly would have to accept significant salary back that will be on the books as long as AI was gonna be there.  I just don't see them doing that.  Not for Randy Foye.  Minny doesn't even have a first round pick to offer, since theirs belong to the Clippers from the Cassell-Jaric trade.  

Forget about Denver.  They're playing well, and surely even George Karl realizes that this makes no sense.  In fact, after their win over the Heat Friday, Karl confirmed my suspicions, that Denver is not in the market for AI.  

The Nuggets were interested in acquiring Allen Iverson last season but Karl said he likes the chemistry on his team this season and wouldn't want to mess with that. Plus, "I'd never get any sleep," Karl cracked

Golden State?  Who knows?  One can only assume that a Warriors trade would have to involve Baron (back to that whole one ball thing), and why would the Sixers want to do that?  They might do it for Baron and Monta Ellis, but I doubt it.

So, while I still don't think it's likely, it would seem that the Clippers are legitimate players here.  They have a lot to offer to AI - more than most teams, they can argue that they are within an AI deal of a championship.   And he'd be playing in LA.  But it's also not very likely that Allen's going to have a lot of say in the matter, given the way it's gone down so far.  I feel rather certain that Baylor and Dunleavy would happily sign off on the deal I've outlined above (the F-DECs, Maggette, Cassell, a first rounder, MBFGC).  But the Sixers are going to ask for Livingston to be included.  

So the next question is, would you be willing to part with Shaun to land AI?  I don't think I would, but I'd have to think long and hard about it.