Monday, July 17, 2006

They're lying to us again

By Steven Lienert

News Flash: The Sixers are going to trade Allen Iverson.

Yeah right.

The real news flash is that Iverson isn't going anywhere.

Billy King wants other teams to overpay for Iverson, and that just isn't going to happen. And King knows that if he pulls a deal similar to what the Sixers got in return for Charles Barkley, he'll be forever skewered in this town.

Frankly, he's stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Handing Iverson over to Boston for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and/or anybody else not named Paul Pierce would be a monumental mistake, mostly because the deal is with a team in the same division. Not to mention that if you put the players being mentioned in the rumors together, they still don't match Iverson's ability.

Denver has a more interesting group to deal, with players like Marcus Camby, Kenyon Martin and Andre Miller being bandied about. But Miller is no Iverson, and Martin and Camby are injuries waiting to happen. Put them alongside Chris Webber and you have the makings of a very competitive 40-and-over rec-league squad.

The best offer I've heard being rumored is Iverson going to Golden State for Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy, which would make the Sixers younger. But their defense would still be a sieve.

Making a deal with the Clippers makes sense; Iverson would make them the best team in their own city for the first time in years. But would the Clips part with Corey Maggette and Chris Kaman for a chance to land the Answer?

And anybody that thinks Iverson is headed to Atlanta better think twice. The Hawks have nobody on their roster that should pique the Sixers' interest. That's just a bad, bad franchise, and Iverson doesn't deserve to do any more time in basketball hell.

No, when the season opens, Iverson will still be a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. Why?


Fear of not getting enough in return. Fear of not selling tickets. Fear of what the legacy will be after the fact. Fear that Iverson will haunt the franchise for years to come.

And, after one last gasp effort to make things work with Iverson again, King will have to deal him at the trade deadline.

Perhaps King should wait for that desperate hour to get all he can for Iverson. Otherwise, King will be shown the door soon after Iverson leaves.

Steve Lienert can be reached at or at

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