The Allen Iverson-Chauncey Billups trade is exactly what the Pistons wanted.
Fans may complain that trading Billups screwed up the team chemistry and the team will continue to struggle with the new style of play that Iverson brings to the Pistons.
The fact is that the Pistons lost in the Eastern Conference Finals three straight years, and the competition is only getting better. As hard as it is to admit for a Pistons fan, the Cleveland Cavaliers are always improving and the Celtics are continuing to dominate the competition.
The Pistons goals in making a trade was that it would allow them to still compete this year, while leaving them options for a bigger change in the future.
The Iverson trade fulfilled both of the those goals for the Pistons. They made the ultimate low-risk, high-reward trade by getting rid of Billups’ expensive contract and getting Iverson and his expiring contract.
The Pistons struggled early with the new style of basketball Iverson brought, but an adjustment is expected for a team when the players have played one way and with one main point guard for the past six years. By playoff time, I expect this to be a tough team for anyone to beat in a seven game series.
Iverson brings an exciting change to a team that could no longer get over the hump and make it to the NBA Finals, but his expiring contract is also a huge asset to the team. Iverson and Wallace are no longer under contract next year, which clears up a huge amount of cap space at a time when many big players may be free agents.
The trade is great for the Pistons right now and in the future, and here are five reasons Pistons fans should love Iverson.
Plain and simple: the door closed on this team. It wasn't just the fact that they lost three straight times in the Eastern Conference finals, but they always seemed like they didn't care when they were down in a series.
The Eastern Conference is not awful like it used to be. Boston is playing better then anybody and the Cavaliers are a much improved team. Also, the Magic, Hawks, and Heat are showing they can compete.
The Chauncey-led Pistons would struggle to make it to another Eastern Conference Finals, and winning in the NBA Finals seemed very unlikely for this aging team. A change was needed.
Iverson is only under contract with the Pistons for one year. That means it's the ultimate low-risk deal.
If somehow the Pistons collapse and Iverson is to blame, the Pistons can get rid of him next year with no penalty.
The fact is that this team was not going to win a NBA Championship before the trade, so Joe Dumars could play around a little bit.
If Iverson works out and the team does great, he can be re-signed. If he does not fit with the team, he is gone by next year and Detroit gains a lot of cap room.
The Pistons became a complacent team ever since they won the NBA Championship in 2004.
After the 2008 season, Joe Dumars said every player was available for trades, but as the off season ended, the core still remained.
By trading Billups, he sent a message to other players. He traded away the leader of the team to prove that he will not accept losing.
If the other players, especially Rasheed Wallace, whose contract expires in 2009, are not committed to winning, they will be the next player to leave.
The Pistons can choose to not resign Allen Iverson and Rasheed Wallace to give them plenty of cap room to rebuild their team.
That will leave Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, and Richard Hamilton to play with whoever Dumars decides to sign.
In 2009, some available players who may interest the Pistons are Carlos Boozer, Shawn Marion, Mehmet Okur, Lamar Odom, and Jamal Crawford.
If they choose to wait for 2010, they will have many big names to choose from, such as Joe Johnson, Dirk Nowitzki, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudamire, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and, last but not least, LeBron James.
If they can pick out two players from that list to play for them, the team should not struggle to compete for a championship.
The Pistons seemed to always put together a good regular season, then underachieve in the playoffs. It became common for them.
Iverson gives new excitement to this team. It is a mystery how this team will fare in the playoffs this year, and that alone will be a reason to watch this year.
Plus, Iverson is one of the all-time greats in the sport, and now the fans here have a chance to cheer for him and see what he can bring to the Pistons.
He brings a whole new style of play to watch for Pistons fans, even if it is only for one year.