By Craig Kwasniewski
Two weeks of non-stop AI trade talk and this is what we get? Iverson to Denver for a starting point guard, contract dead-weight and two first round draft picks.
Count me as one who thinks this trade simply sucks. Not just that Philly got screwed out of a better deal, but who really cares that Denver got the prize in Iverson? Anyway, here's my take on the whole trade situation:
In the short run this trade will work for the Nuggets. You'll read stories about Iverson being a mentor to Melo. Both Iverson and Melo will be on the cover of SI in March. Denver will run off a 10 game winning streak in the spring. Everyone will pick the Nuggets as a dark-horse pick to win the NBA title (Which officially no-longer makes them dark-horse. I hate when NBA experts all pick the same dark-horse teams as though they are some genius. Bro, you went with the mainstream!)
So what happens in the playoffs? The Nuggets get bounced in the second round at best because they can't hang with the front-court depth of Dallas, San Antonio or Phoenix.
In the long run this trade will turn for the worse:
-Both Iverson and Melo are alpha dogs, who's gonna shoot the ball with the game on the line? What happens when Iverson misses his first potential game winner? Who will become the number two option, Melo or Iverson? Unless the NBA decides to use two basketballs, they both can't be final options.
-Melo and J.R. Smith will have to give up some scoring. It's not like the Nuggets will suddenly drop 140 a night.
-George Karl can't coach egos. One year after making the ECF, he threw the Bucks players under the bus on their way to missing out of the playoffs. Let's look at first round busts in the George Karl post-season hall-of-fame: 1994 and 1995 in Seattle, 2003 in Milwaukee and 2006 with Denver. His playoff winning percentage is .449!
-Who was the coach for Team USA in their worst showing ever in the 2002 World Championships? George Freakin Karl.
-Denver didn't even address their frontcourt problems in the trade. Injuries to Nene, Martin and Camby (not yet, but he ALWAYS gets hurt) have made them very thin in the frontcourt. Who's going to match-up with Garnett, Nowitzki, Duncan and Amare?
- Plus, they aren't a good defensive team. Melo can't play defense and Iverson simply won't play defense. Will they turn back the clock and rock it Paul Westhead style losing every night 165-145?
Overall this trade is a disappointment. I was hoping that the Clippers or Minnesota would get Iverson. Instantly both of those teams would be WCF contenders. With AI going to Denver, all this brings is a second round loss and the eventual George Karl implosion in the spring of 2008.
You heard it here, Karl will not last past the 2007-08 season.