Friday, December 08, 2006

AI to the Wolves?

The Allen Iverson Saga burst onto the scene like a tornado. It was nothing but clear skies on the NBA landscape and then all of a sudden we had a funnel cloud picking up houses and uprooting trees. In the span of just 48 hours, AI went from being the only guy on the Sixers actually trying in a game against the Bulls (man, I'm glad I didn't attend that blowout) to being pretty much done in Philly. It's crazy. Philly had a chance to move him all summer and Billy King blew it and now they are handling this so, so poorly. They are faking an injury so he doesn't get hurt and damage his trade value, insulting him by sending him home and not allowing him to attend the game, and then showing their hand by telling everyone he's on the way out (they can thank their chairman and his sideline interview during the game tonight for that). They will be lucky to get a starter and a draft pick at this rate.

Of course, all of this begs the question: where will Iverson be headed? The Celtics were the big rumor over the summer and with their plethora of young players like Gerald Green and Al Jefferson, they might be able to swing something. AI would be a decent fit in Denver, where the up and down style would enable him to get plenty of shots alongside Melo. The Clippers make a whole lot of sense, although their best bargaining chip (Corey Maggette) plays the same position as Andre Igoudala. However, the team that looks like the best fit is the T-Wolves. They have a lot of pieces and movable parts (not for a fair trade, certainly, but then again the Sixers are kind of screwed, so that might not matter), and more importantly, Minnesota is home to the one superstar that would be a perfect fit with Iverson: Kevin Garnett. I wrote about this last spring in a column about pairing up ringless NBA stars, but Iverson's willingness and ability to take and make big shots is a perfect match with KG's unselfishness. I'm not sure the Wolves would have anything else going for them in the starting lineup, but it would be a lot of fun to watch those two guys play together. They've both been surrounded by dog crap for a decade, so this would be nice to see.

If this happens, by the way, the Bulls will have missed their window to acquire KG. I'm not sure what Paxson was waiting for, but it looks like Minny might be doing the reverse of what we all expected. Instead of doing KG a favor and sending him out to a contender, they are trying to bring in a big gun and fix things in the North Star state. So if the trade goes down, it is sorry, Bulls fans. And sorry, Lakers fans too.

By the way, Arenas just banked in a three to end the half of the Philly-Washington game, which gives him two straight 35-foot buzzer beaters to end quarters. I'm not sure I've ever seen that before. I'm also not sure I've ever seen a guy shoot such deep jacks so effortlessly. We all remember the 35-foot jumper he made with ease against Cleveland in the playoffs last year and it seems that was no fluke. The guy puts up bombs like they are free throws.

UPDATE: Jim Grey just came on the air and said that his report earlier (saying that Iverson was looking forward to a trade to Minny) was worthless because the guy on the phone that he thought was AI was "an imposter." This, to me, is hilarious. Nice scoop, Jim Grey.

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