At what point do the Sixers and T-Wolves decide that Allen Iverson and Kevin Garnett represent trade bait rather than the foundations of their respective franchises? For the former, the day might be upon us, writes the Chicago Tribune’s Sam Smith.
Perhaps no team has underachieved more this season than the 76ers. Not even the Knicks. Or the Sonics. The 76ers have Iverson. Chris Webber, though limited in mobility, has put up big numbers. They signed their big center, Samuel Dalembert, to a new deal, which actually may have been a mistake. Their role players – Andrew Iguodala, Kyle Korver and John Salmons – could start for many teams. They’ve got size, depth, athleticism and one of the great finishers in the game in Iverson. But they’ve been unmotivated and undisciplined, an unhappy mess that barely defends and stands around during games watching Iverson and Webber.
The rumblings in Philadelphia are that Iverson’s stay has run its course. After all, Philadelphia isn’t exactly the most loyal community to its star athletes, and attendance is down toward the bottom of the NBA. Iverson says he wants to remain with the 76ers, but it’s difficult to see where the team can go now.
The 76ers had explored interest in Iverson before the February trade deadline. Iverson is difficult to play with because of the way he monopolizes the ball, and Webber demands the ball as well. They’ve gotten along, even though they don’t seem to fit. Given his bad knees and contract averaging about $20 million through 2007-08, Webber is harder to move.
The solution for Philadelphia may be acquiring Garnett, who last week expressed frustration with already being out of the playoffs again and said he won’t stand for it much longer.
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor keeps saying he’ll retain Garnett, and rumors of Garnett being reunited with Stephon Marbury have begun. Garnett last week likened his days with Marbury to among his best in the NBA. And you figure the Knicks almost would give Marbury away to lose his salary, demands for the ball and disruptive behavior and comments. It’s equally difficult to see Iverson staying, especially if the 76ers miss the playoffs.