AI Is a Piston: We Might Have Our Star

Corey McSweeneyAnalyst INovember 3, 2008

The common theme surrounding Pistons fans is that they’re a great team, but lacked a true, give the ball to me and relax, star.

They don’t have that problem anymore.

They just traded for the 33-year old Allen Iverson, getting his 6'0", 170-pound frame. They get his expiring contract for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and prospect Cheikh Samb. I haven’t had a ton of time to react, but I think I love this deal.

First off, they needed a true star. In this basketball day and age, where a guy can carry a team to tremendous levels, the Pistons haven’t had that guy since Grant Hill. Yeah, Billups, Hamilton, and Rasheed are good, but they’re not NBA superstars. AI is an NBA superstar.

Second, they didn’t have to give up Tayshaun Prince, Jason Maxiell, Amir Johnson, and especially Rodney Stuckey to get it done. This team has gotten older and older without bringing in any youthful impact players, but have finally have started that, and needed to keep those players around to build upon, which they did. Good job, Joe Dumars.

Now, I realize that AI isn’t Carmelo or D-Wade, guys floated around in rumors this offseason, but that’s exactly what those were, rumors. This is a done deal. You can’t judge a guy based upon a hypothetical situation. I mean, really, who would trade away young studs like that? Not going to happen.

Cleveland won’t have the guts to do that next year even when it will be obvious LBJ is leaving. That minuscule chance he stays will make Cleveland hesitate and back out of all deals, mark my words. The only impact stud the Pistons were going to be able to get would have to be older, and I can’t imagine someone way better that has been rumored to be available than Iverson.

I'm sure people will gripe about his age, but look how it did for the Celtics. They went from worst to first. Granted, they brought in two studs, but they made a huge leap. The Pistons don't need to make a huge leap, just a small one. 

You also have to realize that since his contract expires after this year, if he doesn't work out, you can let him go and throw some money at a potential free agent, instead of being stuck with Chauncey Billups' long term deal. This move allows for flexibility later on. 

So what have we got? He’s a primo scorer who has a lot of miles on his legs, but won’t be counted on to be the end all. I’m sure Michael Curry will let him get his rest when the Pistons are leading in games. There is no reason to run the guy into the ground, and the Pistons management is too competent to let that happen.

It will be nice to have a great scorer around. We finally have our star.