Will Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony co-exist (on a team without a real point guard)? The Nuggets are run by Mark Warkentein and Rex Chapman, who report to adviser Bret Bearup and owner Stan Kroenke.
How do they envision this working?
Bearup just responded to my request for his thoughts:
This move was as much of a no-brainer as the two 2nd rounders and Howard Eisley for JR Smith. Players like Iverson don't become available very often, and even more rarely for the price we paid.
That said, John Hollingers' piece in ESPN.coms' insider page states pretty succinctly our reasoning for the deal. Not much more to add to that, except that our owner, Stan Kroenke, was very interested in obtaining Iverson, and his enthusiasm for an AI trade that made sense for us caused us to redouble our efforts and leave no stone unturned in getting this deal done.
So, what did Hollinger say? First, he said the Nuggets can win the whole enchilada THIS YEAR. Then he explained:
The system fits. Putting Iverson with Carmelo Anthony works a lot better than, say, pairing Stephon Marbury with Steve Francis, because this duo scores in very different ways.
Iverson wants the ball at the beginning of the play so he can go off the dribble and create; Melo is end-of-the-play guy interested in finishing. The only change required is that Iverson will have to pass a bit more and shoot a bit less, but we're not talking about radical surgery for a guy who's averaged better than seven assists per game the last three seasons.
And beyond that, Denver doesn't need to change a thing. The Nuggets already are the league's fastest-paced team, so we won't see the scenes in Philly with Iverson jetting out on the break while Chris Webber gamely tries to drag his leg down the court...
C'mon, would you rather see Earl Boykins take those shots? People think that the Nugget who will miss out on the most shots will be Anthony, but this isn't true. Really, the guy who's going to lose out is Boykins, who will see a precipitous drop in playing time once the suspensions end because Iverson can do his superhuman 46-minute routine on so many nights.
This is the same Boykins who is shooting 37.0 percent from the floor, has upset teammates with his poor shot selection, is on the trading block and is spending tonight trying to figure out why he's still a Nugget.
He says to imagine last year's Sixers, only make these swaps: Chris Webber becomes Carmelo Anthony. Samuel Dalembert is now Marcus Camby. Kevin Ollie is Earl Boykins. Kyle Korver morphs into J.R. Smith. Steven Hunter goes Brazilian and becomes Nene.
Hollinger adds that Denver has bigs like Marcus Camby and Reggie Evans who don't need the ball and Iverson will be on his best behavior both to prove he's not a bad guy, and because he'll have the chance of success.
I'm excited to watch, I'll tell you that much.