The Pistons and the Denver Nuggets have finalized a trade that sends guard Allen Iverson to Detroit in exchange for Pistons mainstays Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess.
That's a really good trade for... the Nuggets.
Obviously, Iverson-to-Detroit is the big story here, but I really don't see how much better the Pistons actually get. First of all, Iverson dominates the ball and he's notoriously difficult to play with. The Pistons are breaking up a TEAM to take on a shoot first point guard; the Pistons have enough other talent (Sheed, Prince and Rip Hamilton) that AI can't constantly have control of the ball. The Pistons now have the skinniest backcourt in basketball and I can't imagine that'll help them on the defensive end. Plus, your now trusting your rookie head coach to deal with both Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson. Good luck with that.
Now, could this work out? Of course. The Pistons could gel really well together and their talent could push them past the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2005.
But right now, as a Cavs fan, I feel that while this makes Detroit a much tougher single game matchup, it doesn't really worry me for an entire series. AI can go off at point in time, and I don't trust the Cavs to be able to stop him on a random night in February. But I do trust Mike Brown and co. to find a way to stop Iverson over an entire seven game series.
And to be honest, I see this as a better trade for the Nuggets. They get to add proven winners around Carmelo Anthony and it's not like they were going anywhere with AI anyways. Plus, I've never really been a huge AI guy to begin with. I loathe shoot first point guards like you cannot believe (well, when you grow up playing center...) and I've never felt he's played 'winning' ball (sure, he made the Finals, but that team was A) completely built around him shooting 90 times a game B) in one of the crappiest conferences in the history of the NBA).
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how this trade really pushes Detroit over the top.