Orlando Magic: Would Allen Iverson Be a Good Replacement for Vince Carter?

Dwayne MontellCorrespondent IJuly 2, 2010

The Vince Carter era in Orlando maybe coming to an end in the next couple of days, as it is being reported that the Magic and Utah Jazz are seriously considering swapping Carlos Boozer for Carter.

Last offseason, Magic GM Otis Smith brought in Vince Carter to add a go-to guy who could take games over. Vince had the worst season of his career, averaging a career-low 16.6 ppg, while shooting just 43 percent. In the playoffs, Carter was even worse, showing little heart though he was supported by arguably the NBA's most talented team.

If Carter leaves, the Magic will need a SG, one who can hopefully give them what they thought Vince would give them. J.J. Redick, if he comes back, is just not ready to start.

There is one guard out there who might be the biggest steal in free agency. He is Vince's opposite, bringing perhaps more effort than any player ever has. He plays with his heart on his sleeve, and plays the game the same way whether his team is down 20, or up 10.

He is also one of the greatest scorers and players in NBA history: Allen Iverson.

Think about it.  Stan Van Gundy would respect Iverson, and AI would return the respect because Van Gundy is a proven winner. Van Gundy would give Iverson the minutes that he deserves, never embarrassing him like Michael Curry did. The only time that you would find Allen sitting on the bench is if he was outplayed, and he would have no problem with that.

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Last year, a rusty AI still managed to average 14 ppg and five apg, though he only played 30 mpg. Iverson was doing all this in a structured Princeton Offense without any complaints about touches or shots.

Iverson is a scorer, and if given the freedom, can still take games over. If Allen can play at least 35 mpg for the Magic, he could give them around 20 ppg and 7 apg.

Allen would be on the type of team he has never been with, surrounded by three-point shooters and the best big man in the league, plus he might have another dominating post presence in Carlos Boozer. Combine that type of roster with Allen's quickness and ability to get to the rack, and the Magic would be unstoppable.

And again, let me emphasize the heart that AI would bring.  The lack of effort and heart cost the Magic, and by game three of the Eastern Conference Finals, it was clear that they had given up. The first player to surrender was Vince, the veteran who was supposed to keep his players together. Then Dwight and everyone else followed.

Iverson would never have let that happen.

After Allen Iverson was released by the Memphis Grizzlies last season, Otis Smith had this to say when asked if Allen would be a good replacement for the injured Jameer Nelson.

"I'm not excluding Allen. You just can't look at this from a short-term fix. You have to consider the long-term chemistry of your team. If we lost somebody else, then Allen might make more sense."

That said, if Carter is traded and Redick leaves, signing AI would make too much sense.

Iverson has accomplished everything in his career except winning an NBA Championship, and would make the most of this situation, knowing that this is his last chance to win a title, and to prove to the world that he is not a chemistry killer. He is training harder this offseason than ever.

The Magic would have nothing to lose in this situation, as Iverson could sign the one-year veteran's minimum.

Those pinstriped AI jerseys would sell out immediately!

Bring Allen Iverson to Orlando!


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