There has been an intriguing question that has been floating around on many NBA websites: Where will Allen Iverson end up? When I think of the potential places, Houston comes up as one that could potentially suit the 12 year veteran. Let's look over some of the most important factors.
Potential Starting Position: Iverson has gone on record stating that he doesn't want to come off the bench and be a sixth man. The Rockets need someone who can create their own shot and lift the team's offense, therefore taking pressure off of Yao to carry the scoring load from the inside.
Iverson still has plenty of game left in him...he just needs a team to give him the minutes to prove so. Re-sign Wafer and make him the sixth man, with Iverson starting at the two spot.
McGrady's Done: I wrote an article early on in my Bleacher Report career, click here saying that T-Mac's tenure in Houston is done. There are countless rumors going around about McGrady going and the Knicks so the Rockets are in need of a compliment to Yao and his inside abilities. Even if the Rockets held on to McGrady, he isn't scheduled to be back until sometime in January, which doesn't do the Rockets much good.
The Big Three: The combination of Yao, Artest and Iverson would be very nice. Artest is a defensive minded player who has the ability to be a great scorer but tends to have a horrendous shot selection at times, rather than taking it inside or creating high percentage shots for himself.
Yao's abilities speak for themselves...he is an exceptional player who has problems staying on the court. This past season was great until their playoff series against the Lakers, who knows what would have happened had he not been injured.
Salary: What would the Rockets be able to offer Iverson and what would he be willing to take to come to a contender? If he was willing to take the MLE (mid-level exception), then the situation could possibly be a nice one, if not then it's not going to work, especially while T-Mac's salary is still on the payroll and Artest still isn't re-signed yet. Iverson still thinks he is worthy of top player salary so it could be tough.
Does he fit the Rockets' scheme? The Rockets have made it well-known that they are a defensive-minded team and while Iverson contributes a very nice amount of steals, he is an offensive-minded player. Would his defensive shortcomings hurt the team? The Rockets have a team mentality and Iverson hasn't exactly shown that he fits that mold based on his history.
Where would Shane fit it in? Assuming that the Rockets re-signed Artest, with the starting five being Brooks, Iverson, Artest, Scola and Yao, where would Battier play? Although he probably wouldn't complain about coming off the bench, the Rockets need his knack for shutting down scorers. If Artest left for another team, they could put Battier at the three spot and that would help alleviate the problem.
Can Rick Adelman control Iverson's ego? Iverson has had a problem with every coach he has played under in the NBA. Coach Larry Brown was the only one who was able to control Iverson's ego to the point that isn't wasn't as much of an issue. How would Adelman handle Iverson?
Ultimately, I don't think the Rockets will pursue Iverson but there are clear cases as to why though could/would, just as there are cases that would lead them to stay away. Either way, it will be interesting to see where he winds up.
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