It’s a done deal, Allen Iverson has been traded to the Pistons
The Pistons and the Denver Nuggets have finalized a trade that sends guard Allen Iverson to Detroit in exchange for Pistons mainstays Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess.
Young center Cheikh Samb, selected by the Los Angeles Lakersfor the Pistons with the 51st overall pick in the 2006 draft, will also be going to Denver in the deal, reports ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.
So the Pistons will feature Allen Iverson, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace and, apparently, Amir Johnson. Iverson is obviously a more explosive scoring threat than Billups, but I don’t know how he really fits. I think he’s just going to dominate the ball… and the Pistons are a team that doesn’t need anyone dominating the ball. They’ve always had a pretty even distribution of touches. I think this throws the whole thing off.
The Pistons will still be good, because Iverson is still pretty good. But I’m nowhere near sold on him being, pardon the expression, the answer to Detroit’s problems. I don’t see this move making Detroit any bigger threat to the Celtics.
— update: I posted one of these links in the comments… but I’m going to add it, and one other, here. Kelly Dwyer on Ball Don’t Lie… and Henry Abbot on TrueHoop completely nail the genius of this trade. Abbot really sums it up:
Down, the road the Pistons becomes the driving force of big-time free agency as soon as Iverson’s contract comes off the books next summer. The Pistons will combine a winning environment, one of the most respected general managers in the game, and — depending on salary cap levels that are yet to be set, and extensions that may yet be given to existing Pistons — likely enough cap space to sign two free agent players to max contracts over the next summers of 2009 and 2010.
The two that jump out to me are, of course, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. They played together nicely on Team USA, and now Dumars can at least entertain the notion of signing not one of those two, but both.
So while they both agree with my point that the Pistons might not be the same team this year… it’s clearly not about this year. It might not be about next year, either. So C’s fans… let’s enjoy our ride now. The Pistons are clearly positioning themselves for a post-Celtics world in the Eastern Conference.