Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Traded

Well, it didn't take long for the Philadelphia 76ers to find a new home for their disgruntled erstwhile star. The team ended its 10-year relationship with guard Allen Iverson, sending him and rarely-used forward Ivan McFarlin to Denver, getting guard Andre Miller and forward Joe Smith, as well as two 2007 first round draft picks.

It couldn't have come at a better time for the Nuggets, who will be missing the services of starters Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith for 15 and 10 games, respectively, a result of the Knicks-Nuggets brawl last Saturday. Adding Iverson will help ease the burden off the other Nugget players in terms of scoring.

Of course, when Anthony and Smith come back from their suspensions in January, it's going to be interesting to see how coach George Karl is going to keep his two stars happy, in terms of touches on the ball and scoring opportunities. Will Iverson and Anthony be able to keep their egos in check, or is it going to turn out like it did in New York, where Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis had to share playing time, at least until Francis got injured last week? We'll know in January.

On the fantasy side, how does the trade work for owners? For one thing, getting Iverson back on the court will be a plus for the owners who've had to suffer through his inactivity over the past two weeks; in our league, zyxwv is probably going to be really pleased about it. On the 76er side, Andre Miller will probably make up for the loss of Iverson in terms of ball play; although Miller's level of play has declined over the years, he's still an upgrade over Kevin Ollie or Willie Green (I think). I'm not sure how Joe Smith will fit into the 76ers plans; maybe he'll fill in for an injured Chris Webber, although Smith hasn't played all that much this year. The two draft picks will be a gamble, at best.

Only time will tell if this trade will go the way of some of the other disastrous trades the 76ers have made over the years (Barkley for Hornacek, Lang and Perry, and Chamberlain for Chambers, Clark and Imhoff), or whether it will spell a turnaround in a terrible season (5-18). One thing's for sure: at least, Philadelphia has finally put one of its troubling issues to rest. Now it's the Nuggets' turn to see what Iverson can (or won't) offer to Denver.

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