Monday, 3 November 2008

Trade official, Iverson to the D

Wow. Just wow. I think I should mention that I am a pistons fan. I'm not dissapointed with this trade, just in disbelief. In my life I can name 2 times my jaw has actually dropped because I've been so shocked and one is when I heard this news.

Firstly, this is a very good trade for the nuggets. They get a hometown point guard who knows how to run a successful offense, as well as play acceptable defense, an uncommon thing in Denver. Cheik Samb is also involved, a young center with potential to contribute in the future. Before the trade it looked like the Nuggets were lottery bound. Now I'm not so sure.

This move is very interesting on Detroit's part. Billups was an integral piece of the team that he led to 6 straight conference finals, a record teams like New York and Charlotte would kill to have. McDyess is only involved for the numbers, so will most likely be waived and retained by the pistons in 30 days. Mr. Big Shot's contribution will be missed, he's one of the best point guards in the L that any team would love to have. Despite Cheik Samb's potential he was currently irrelevent to the pistons team.

So what do the pistons get out of this? Well on paper they have four 2-guards, 3 of them legitimate scorers. Stuckey can run the point efficiently (a lot of that can be down to the mentoring of Billups), but at heart is a Dwyane Wade-like shooting-guard. Hamilton has annually leads the pistons in ppg, the best off-ball scorer in the league runs off screens like no other. Arron Afflalo is a great defender but will probably get pushed out of the rotation completely because of this move. I haven't actually watched Iverson enough to know how snug he'll fit in the pistons jigsaw, but he may well be the missing piece. From what I know he needs the ball in his hands to score, obviously undersized for a 2 but never a true point.

It will be interesting to say the least to see what Michael Curry does with the rotation. Will Stuckey step up into starting at the point with AI at the 2 and Hamilton finishing off a 3 guard lineup? Prince will get abused on the Boards at the 4, unless the young Amir Johnson or Jason Maxiell steps into the starting lineup instead (unlikely but possible move to solve the rebound problem, Prince for Camby?). Another possiblity is keeping Johnson and Sheed as the starting frontcourt with Tay at the 3, then have a 3 guard rotation in the backcourt (the original plan for this season was Billups, Hamilton and Stuckey logging in at least 30 mpg). He may even just keep the regular positioning and straight up play Iverson in Billups' slot, out of position at the point.

Money plays a big part in this. Joe Dumars is, in my opinion, the best GM in the league. Iverson's $21 million contract comes off the books next off-season, whereas the Nuggets are now locked up until 2011 with Billups. Financially Dumars may of pulled off something special here. People may think Iverson's out the door next year, but if he's that desperate to get a championship, he'd re-sign with the pistons for a lower salary next season, who will be the only contender with cap-room (correct me if I'm wrong).

A lot questions arise from this trade. Will the pistons rotation go to a 3 guard lineup, or will they let AI run the point? Does this trade give Denver a legitimate shot at the playoffs? And are the pistons more or less of a contender with Iverson on their team? A lot of questions, but us pistons fans can just pray that Allen Iverson is our answer.

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