Monday, November 3, 2008

Analyzing the Inevitable AI Trade

(Boulder-CO) I didn't think it would happen this early in the season, but the Denver Nuggets are not wasting any time in shipping Allen Iverson out of town while they can get something for him in return.

It is being reported by MLive.com that not only has an agreement been made between the two teams, but also that neither player(s) were at their respective shootarounds earlier today.
Let's take a closer look at why and how this is all supposed to go down:
For starters, it didn't take an NBA genius to look at the AI situation and realize that he would probably not be in Denver for the duration of this season. First of all, he is getting older and his numbers have been on the slow but steady decline for the last three years. Not to say that they haven't been great, but the writing has been on the wall. Furthermore, he is in the last year of his contract worth $21.9 million dollars on Stan Kroenke's payroll and if Denver is going to get anything in return for him before he becomes a free-agent he was going to be traded before the season's end.
So, the only real surprise is how quick Denver brass has pulled the trigger.
In return for trading Allen Iverson, the Nuggets are reportedly going to acquire former Nuggets Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess from the Pistons. Chauncey is a Denver native and former University of Colorado Buffalo and McDyess spent the early portion of his career with the Nuggets throughout the 90's.
Billups is set to make $11 million this season and his contract runs through 2011 with a team option for 2012 before maxing out in his final year for $13 million. The final year team option is for $14.2 million dollars and Billups would be 35 years old. McDyess will make $6.8 million this year and has one more year at the same salary for next year before his is a free-agent or chooses to retire at the age of 36.
Now to examine what the Nuggets would be if/when the trade is officially announced:
On paper, the trade looks tremendously positive for the Nuggets. Despite the individual trade off of Iverson, Billups is a consummate team player who can better assist, pun intended, Carmelo, Nene, and J.R. Smith. In addition, he is a better defender and far superior long-range shooter. Not to mention his championship experience. Plus, the addition of Antonio McDyess bolsters Denver's thin frontline while adding veteran leadership.
By the numbers, Allen Iverson is going to be a loss for the Nuggets. The Answer averaged 26.4 points and better than seven assists last season in comparison to Billups' 17 points and six assists. But... keep in mind Denver has been longing for a true starting point guard since losing Andre Miller and with the emergence of J.R. Smith's scoring a few extra shots minus Iverson isn't the worst thing that could happen to this team overall. However, with Antonio McDyess' seven points and four rebound average from last year, I think the Nuggets will be able to counter balance the offensive loss of AI while adding the aforementioned strength on their frontline and the invaluable veteran presence both men would provide.
My final thought is nothing but love for this trade. The Nuggets were headed on a path to no where quick this season with the roster as it is/was, but this trade gives me new hope as to what could be Denver's future this season.
Go Nuggets!

11 comments:

Sean T said...

This trade is sweeter then Oprah's big fat titties!!

Nugg Doctor said...

LOL, thanks sean!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

James O. Clark said...

This is totally awesome. What a move by the Nugz. I could not be more fired up. Now, I think we might have a chance to contend, a serious chance.

Stumbleweed said...

I like it overall. Also, we get 7'1" Cheikh Samb, who got a double double of 12/12/11 blocks in the d-league last year. Haha, he's 7'1" and 195 lbs.. love that guy. anyway, he's a hell of a throw-in -- if you guys haven't watched the dude play, he's the most inexplicable basketball player I think I've ever seen.

What confuses me is that this move cramps our flexibility for the big free agent classes coming up. Billups is on the books through '11, and unless we have another move planned, we'll still be over the cap. I have to think we could've gotten something for Camby like we did for AI, since we're apparently not in total "tear-down and rebuild" mode.

Also, McDyess has said that he won't put on a Nuggets jersey, so he'll be bought out most likely. If the Nugs won't buy him out, he'll just retire. He won't be playing for us either way -- but I REALLY hope we'll find a place for Cheikh Samb, because he's awesomely freaky.

Stumbleweed said...

And let me qualify that remark a bit... I really like this ASSUMING that our starting five is now:

Billups
JR
Melo
K-Mart
Nene

It would be worth losing Iverson to have a real solid starting 5 and to have the guys like JR/LK/Jones have a clear role instead of randomly being inserted into the starting lineup. AC's been playing pretty good this year, but he should always be the backup PG, not a starter. If this puts an end to George's BS rotations (which I'll admit have been better this year), I'm all for it. That starting 5 is as good as any in the league if Nene plays like he did against LA all year long.

Matthew said...

Billups has averaged 5.0 boards in two games *this* year. He averaged 2.7 boards in 78 games last year.

Nugg Doctor said...

Thanks, matthew. Noted, changed, and appreciated.

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor

Robert said...

I guess I like it.

I do have to agree that this trade, while it makes us contenders, does muddy the picture about where we stand for the free agent class of this next year.
I have to like the character of who they just brought to this team. Whatever happens, I have a vague feeling that playing with someone like Billups will really get Melo on track and get JR ready to play the gunslinger role, just cause Billups is all business. But I'm just rambling. Go Nuggies!

Molon177 said...

This is a great trade! Hopefully we will see some team ball out of the Nuggets now.

ThaAnswer said...

Well as an Iverson loyalist/Denver fan, I can say I've enjoyed watching every single game AI's played with the Nuggets. I've grown to appreciate Melo and JR Smith is still one of my favorite players. However, my loyalty lies with The Answer and I'm now rolling with the Pistons.

Which is hard to say, considering my craziest bitch of an ex-girlfriend was a diehard Pistons/Tayshaun Prince fan. I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact lol.

Anyway, I want to thank the Nugg Dr, stumbleweed, everyone who contributed to intelligent Nuggets dialogue. I'll still be cheering for the Nuggets, simply to a lesser extent. I'll try and check out the blog here and there too.

But for now I'm simply a Pistons fan. Even tho I feel I have nothing in common with any die hard Pistons fan, and I'm more of an outsider than anything. I am only 4 hours away from say 40 or so AI home games...so who's complaining!

Now I have to buy damn new jerseys, with no guarantee I wont have to do the same next year! Anyway, good luck.

Vote McCain!

Nugg Doctor said...

thaanswer,

You've been a loyal reader and a great lighting rod for conversation. It will be a shame to not see you all the time, but hopefully there is still a Nuggets fan somewhere inside you!

Hopefully we'll see you around soon and keep reppin for AI!

Thanks for reading,

The Nugg Doctor