AI – Memphis or Miami ?

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Monday, July 13th, 2009

One of the biggest surprises to me this NBA off season has been Allen Iverson. To me the surprise is in how little interest there has been around the league for his services. The guy has immense talent and could provide a big boost to any borderline playoff team. He can be an even bigger boost when you consider how low his stock has dropped.

So far the biggest deal on the table comes from the Memphis Grizzlies at a price of around $5 million. The Miami Heat would love to bring AI into the fold but they don’t even want to cross the $2 million mark. I’d have to say those are amazing drops for a player that made $21 million last season.

Memphis owner Michael Heisley would love to bring in AI but doesn’t think his team is the favorite, even with the money on the table.

“Obviously I would think that the odds-on favorite would be Miami, because Dwyane Wade would like to get with him and I think that would be where [Iverson and agent Leon Rose] would like to go. But we’re still talking to them and we’ll see what happens.”

Labeling the Heat as the favorite is pretty easy to do since Wade came out and said he’d stay in Miami IF they worked towards being a contender. Adding Iverson to the mix could definitely help towards that.


“With A.I., you look at a guy who is one of the best guys to ever put on an NBA jersey,” Wade said in a recent radio interview. “A guy who can still score in the right offense, in the right flow. So you can never turn your nose up at a guy like Allen Iverson. I hear a lot of people that love and want to come to Miami, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

Wade and AI together could definitely be a high octane offense in the right system. The question would really be can they co-exist. Both players are scoring guards who can handle the rock. They both could play some point if needed but both are better when the shots are funneling through them.

I’m saying they can’t. Remember AI couldn’t handle playing with Richard Hamilton in Detroit last season. He didn’t take too kindly to coming off the bench and made a big stink about it.

How can I say so definitively that they can’t? With Hamilton’s size and versatility he was able to play small forward so both can be on the court at the same time. Even with that happening those two couldn’t work together.

So really how would two players who play the same position work?

Like I said earlier its easy to label the Heat as the favorites but after reading that can you still consider them the favorites? To me, it’s hard to do so.

In my eyes the favorite has to be Memphis, I don’t see how Iverson can turn down the money. More importantly I don’t see how AI can turn down the chance at showing he can still perform.

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The Grizzlies may have had a dismal 24-58 record last season but they do have plenty of young talent on their roster. Adding a player like AI to the mix of Rudy Gay, OJ Mayo, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Quentin Richardson, Hakim Warrick and Hasheem Thabeet could be huge.

They could easily become a team threatening the 40 win plateau. Not enough to make the playoffs but enough to make the team relevant and give those young guys plenty of bigger game experience.

A one year deal with the Griz could also set Iverson up for a better payday in the big ticket free agent summer of 2010.

Displaying 4 Comments
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  1. Nick L. says:

    I think your own logic should be used on the Memphis idea, also. If AI and D-Wade can’t coexist on the court, effectively, then how can AI and the squad of small guys that Memphis now has, possibly gel?

    Mayo, 6’5″ SG
    Conley, 6’1″ PG
    Richardson, 6’6″ SG
    Lowry, 6’0″ SG

  2. Paul Raymond says:

    Hey Nick, that’s true. As I was finishing the article and listing all those names I started to think about that.

    What it came down to in my eyes is the ages of Mayo, Conley and Lowry. I think those guys would be willing to play the supporting role to an established veteran.

  3. ryan tan says:

    i love to see the answer wearing a memphis jersey and win championship ring.

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