So I never really weighed in on the Iverson trade, mainly because everyone else already said everything.
In short, it was a great move for the Pistons and puzzling for Denver. The worst-case scenario for the Pistons, in my eyes, is that they have an equal chance to win the whole thing this year with Allen as they did with Chauncey — not great.
I suppose there could be a significant drop-off due to upsetting a finely tuned on- and off-court balance that the Big Four established over many years, but the dynamic potency of Iverson’s scoring and overall offensive ability should be enough to at least off-set that risk and make the overall potential of the team a wash. And because Iverson is near-universally loved by the rest of the League’s players, I don’t think it’s out of the question to suggest that the new veteran group could form a new bond of their own that takes the huge array of talent in that locker room and re-energizes it. I think we’ve also seen that the “We wanna win a ring for [insert name here]” aspect can always be a good rallying beacon and although AI is a new-acquisition without much of a history with the Piston players, that can’t be a bad thing in terms of motivation. Iverson’s own closing-window hunger should also help inspire.
Basically, this team with or without Chauncey was/is getting to the Second Round of the Playoffs. Just from a talent standpoint, that was and is the case. And either team also had/has a chance get to the Eastern Conference Finals. I the stars all align, they might have made/make the Finals.
And by shaking things up and adding one of the best and most admired players of all time, there has to be a greater chance of those stars aligning than simply going with the status quo squad that would likely either lose to the Cs/LeBron or rely on the unexpected and rapid progression of Stuckey/Maxiell/Amir. In terms of this era’s Pistons legacy, this trade was essentially Tin Cup going for the green. Sure, it probably won’t work out, but you gotta respect the cojones.
And the long-term benefits are obvious. AI is a free agent in July and with Sheed also coming off the books, Dumars will have a ton of flexibility. If this year proves a rousing success where the only failing is not winning a ring, he also sits first in line to talk Allen into “getting the band back together” and signing for mid-level exception-type money. It was a can’t-lose situation in salary cap world.
For Denver, I just have no idea what they were thinking. Melo and AI had proven essentially redundant and JR Smith can come in and jack up a ton of shots and give you two-thirds of Allen’s production, so moving the Hall of Famer for a true point guard does make sense. But given Chauncey’s age and contract, and Denver’s inability to contend this year in the West with that roster, it just seems like they could have gone another way. A more logical play would have been to try for what Rod Thorn got in New Jersey last year when he shipped JKidd to Dallas for his point-guard of the next half decade, Devin Harris. Getting Chauncey really isn’t a move for the present or the future.
Anyway, the real point of this overly long lead-in is that there is a new Reggie mailbag.
He talks about whether or not the Pistons can win with AI and although he seems a little confused about the number of shots a 33-year-old Allen Iverson would ever likely take on a good Detroit team, he has some points I agree with on the needs-to-be-more-aggressive Tayshaun Prince and the clear-imperatively effort Allen must concertedly make to get Rip the ball.
And as always, you too can ask Uncle Reggie questions such as “Who’s the Asian chick?” by sending them to: firstname.lastname@example.org