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Monday, December 11, 2006
Why Are the Sixers in Such a Rush to Trade Allen Iverson?

Doesn't make any sense right? The trading deadline is miles away, and mediocre teams haven't yet reached the decision to scrap everything to make a deal happen. Yet Chris Sheridan reports the Sixers want something done tonight or tomorrow.

Why the big rush? Could be simply to get all their suitors to trot out good offers quickly.

Or, here's a cynical, wholly unsupported theory that just occured to me. Allen Iverson just asked for a trade, right? So this past weekend was their one and only opportunity to put him on the shelf, to keep him away from the team. That's exactly where they are right now, and it might be exactly where the Sixers want to stay for a while. The young players get to develop an identity (we get to see if Andre Iguodala can really be a star), the fans get to believe that the management is really taking bold steps to turn this thing around, the suitors get to keep bidding and bidding and... most importantly... the Sixers get to keep earning better and better position in one of the best drafts in recent NBA history.

Now, if it seemed like the team was benching Iverson to lose games, the league would be irate, and possibly impose penalties or sanctions. But if the Sixers were urgently working out the last little details of some imminent deals, and things happened to drag out a little while, or even fall through, well, no one could be too upset about that, right?

Again, just an unsupported theory.

By the way, from what I'm hearing this draft is really good. So as the season progresses, by all means be alert to the reality that some teams will be tanking games. I can practically guarantee some good players on bad teams are already planning to get tendinitis in March.