I've heard and read a lot of negatives referring to the Allen Iverson trade. Being a Pistons fan, as well as an Iverson fan, I felt it was my duty to put a positive spin on this trade.
Obviously, I can't explain how the inconsistency we've seen is a positive, but the more time this team spends together, the less inconsistency we'll see.
Many people like to point out how well Denver is playing since they received Chauncey Billups. Denver has a great record, there's no doubt. They are playing with a true point guard, who also happens to be one of the top five in the league. In George Karl's system, the need for a true point guard is very important. Not to mention one that plays defense. Think back to Gary Payton in Seattle.
People complain about the Pistons record since Iverson has been in the lineup. The Pistons finished the month of November 10-6. Last year with Billups, the Pistons were 9-5 at the end of November. Doesn't seem like such a difference. Keeping in mind that the Pistons haven't had an training camp together makes that seem more impressive.
In previous seasons the Pistons have been notorious for taking nights off. It seems as though this season they aren't taking nights off, but having off nights. Those like the loss to Minnesota. It's safe to say that when Iverson finds his niche on the team that will happen less frequently.
In trading for Iverson, the Pistons received a dynamic scorer. A player who at 33 can still dominate games. He's one of the greatest scorers of all time. I'd place him in the top three of clutch players in the NBA right now. He's great at getting to the hole and drawing contact. The Pistons have long been a team of jump shooters.
There was one positive nobody can dispute. The Pistons traded a long term contract for an expiring one. Paired with Rasheed Wallace's expiring contract, the Pistons could be major players in the 2009 or 2010 free agent markets. Everyone is said to be making a push for LeBron James, what better way to pursue him? This also gives Rodney Stuckey another year of maturity before he is required to be the point guard.
The one negative of the trade, the thing that most disappointed me was losing Antonio McDyess. Then to see him get released by the Nuggets, it was like I had gotten all the Christmas gifts I had asked for. We get a spark plug in our lineup, and all we have to give up is a unproven player from Senegal. Who wouldn't make this trade?
Seeing posts on here and other sites, the majority of people expected over night results on the Iverson trade. It's a little easier to fit a Billups into a system than it is to fit an Iverson. Billups is exactly what the Nuggets needed, whereas Iverson is something the Pistons have always wanted.
The only thing I can compare this trade to is Brett Favre joining the Jets. I say this because Brett Favre isn't the prototype for a quarterback, he's a gunslinger, a risk taker. This is how I see Iverson. The first six weeks of the season Brett just didn't seem himself. He had a good game here or there, he just wasn't Brett. Now we're seeing the man we all know and love.
The Pistons are adjusting nicely to Iverson, and Iverson to the Pistons. For the first time in his career he has a team around him, people capable of contributing. A place where he doesn't have to kill himself night in and night out to be an 8th seed.
Folks like to ask why you would break up the chemistry of a team that's gone to six straight Eastern Conference Finals. The reason for that is simple, you don't play a sport to be in a Conference Finals. You play a sport to get to the big game. The NBA Finals, the Super Bowl, the World Series, what have you. With one Championship to show, it was obviously not going to change with the same core of players.
Is the trade everything I hoped for? Not yet. I feel pretty confident that it will be. Hopefully this has helped you to see things from a "glass half full" perspective. I hope you enjoyed.