Tuesday, November 4, 2008

AI for Chauncey

Allen Iverson was traded from the Nuggets to the Pistons for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess. What does this do for the teams?

Let's see: Iverson, in the last year of his deal, along with Rasheed Wallace, will not be playing for new contracts, they will be playing to win. Iverson came closest to a championship in 2001 when the Lakers handily defeated them in 5 games after dropping the first game to Iverson's Sixers. He'll be a good little warrior, and a huge change of pace from Billups for the Pistons. I don't think the Pistons made this move to win this year. Maybe they did (the Pistons needed a shake-up there's no doubt about that), but I can't see it. What I see is two huge contracts coming off the books this summer and a chance to get Boozer (though I doubt it). What I'd guess is they make a small splash in free agency and wait another year or two through rebuilding to get LeBron. Either way, what with Stuckey, they have a great core for the next few years (especially if they resign Sheed for a much lower rate). The trade gives them a chance to win this year as well as in years to come.

The Nuggets? Well, they're still not going anywhere anytime soon. Billups doesn't change that. He'll be a great influence on a locker room full of guys who have never been there and his championship pedigree and and Finals MVP give him instant credibility. But does that mean that they'll play defense because of it? It does get JR Smith into the starting lineup, which is good, as long as he's hitting shots. He is one of the three streakiest shooters in the NBA along with Vujacic of the Lakers and Donyell Marshall who is with the Sixers (I think). Either way, the best the Nuggets can hope for is an 8th seed this year and a first round exit. It handicaps them for the next few years as well (Billups is under contract for 2 more years with a team option for the third) when they're already dumping salary for nothing (see Camby, Marcus). I don't see why they made this trade.