Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NBA: Philadelphia Fleecing

By Steve Cernak

Admittedly, I am completely biased with regards to Allen Iverson. The man is an absolute basketball stud and a first ballot Hall Of Famer. Without even knowing what Denver gave up, I'd say the Nuggets won the trade. But how well did Philly do in the deal?

If reports are true, the 76ers received PG Andre Miller, PF Joe Smith, two 2007 first round draft picks and possibly some low salary players. That deal that sounds pretty good at the surface and a deal the team can sell their fans.

Well let me tell you something, this deal stinks for Philly.

Miller, the 2002 assist leader, is a great pass-first point and Smith is, well, okay--but they're essentially expiring contracts (Smith expires after this season, Miller after next). The picks are a nice commodity to have in what's being billed as the deepest draft in years.

Seems great, but like I said--it stinks.

Chris Webber is still on the hook for the 2007-08 season at a whopping $22.3 million. The cap fluctuates each year, but is approximately $45-50 million. In short, the Sixers will be approximately $5 million over the cap next season.

AI's contract runs until the 2008-09 season , so the Sixers essentially traded for cap space not this season, not next season, but the season after. The two draft picks are nice, but one is Denver's, who will start AI, JR Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Eduardo Najera and Marcus Camby for the majority of the season.

The other pick? Well, that originally belonged to Dallas (traded to Golden State in the Erick Dampier trade, then traded to Denver in the Najera trade).

Philadelphia traded away an all-time great and a ticket-selling-machine for two draft picks that will be close to early second rounders and cap space in 2008-09.

My apologies to Philadelphia sports fans not only getting little in return, but for losing one of the greatest players of all-time.

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