After last season’s heartbreaking loss in the Eastern Conference Finals, General Manager Joe Dumars promised major changes. The offseason came and went without a peep in the night. Now, one week into the regular season, Dumars has struck gold, landing one of the greatest competitors in the history of the game.
The Pistons send Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson. For the Pistons, Iverson adds one of the great scorers, as well as one of the great competitors the league has ever seen. If Dumars was looking to change the culture of the team, this trade will surely do that. Iverson is also in the last year of his contract, so if he should not work out in Detroit, he becomes a one year rental player.
With adding Iverson, the Pistons have effectively ended an era in Detroit. Their run with their big four of Billups, Hamilton, Prince, and Wallace comes to an end with just one title to show for it. They will still go down as one of the great cores to play together, but we the fans, will always wonder if they could have done more.
For the Nuggets, the reasons for this deal aren’t quite so clear. Billups does give them the stability at the point guard position they’ve been looking for, however, the deal doesn’t seem to make sense from the competitive and financial sides. They are no better on the court than they were yesterday and they now have an additional $30 million or so committed to Billups over the next four years. For a team that doesn’t look like a playoff contender in the near future, it would seem that they have effectively locked themselves into further mediocrity with this trade.
McDyess looks to be bought out of his contract and will likely never play for the Nuggets, while Samb looks like a throw in.
Bottom line—the Pistons were looking to shake up their roster and this trade does that for them. The Nuggets get a point guard and ensure that they get something in return for Iverson. For my money, score this trade as a big win for the Pistons.
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