AI – On The Move, Again

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Monday, November 16th, 2009

Looks like The Answer, Allen Iverson will be hitting the open market, again. The Memphis Grizzlies waved the disgruntled guard today, saying it was a mutual decision. I’d say the mutual decision was ownership realizing when and if AI came back to the team, he’d be a headache. Sooo, let’s just waive him so we don’t have to pay his salary all season.

“Because of personal matters that forced him to leave the team on November 7, Allen will step away from the game at this time, allowing him to focus on those matters,” general manager Chris Wallace said. “As a result, we will be ending our contractual agreement with Allen, which will allow both parties to move forward. We wish Allen the best.”

The move does do two things for the Grizzlies. First it saves them a decent amount of money, Iverson was scheduled to make $3 million this season. The team is now just on the hook for a fraction of it. And the other thing it does is free up shots for the teams young guns like Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo. The team doesn’t have a chance to make the playoffs so letting AI hog the ball could of kept those guys from developing.

So where does AI go from here? Some think this may of been his last chance at a career in the NBA. He just became the fourteenth player to score 20,000 points in a career but he isn’t cut out to be a starter anymore. If he does start it would really only be for a cellar dweller. Someone like say the ummm New York Knicks.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh has already expressed his interest. I could see this happening, the Knicks surely would let AI start over Chris Duhon, someone that has been a mild disappointment for them. He’s someone that would bring excitement for a team that is 1-9. AND it would sell some seats at the Garden.

Some think adding a player like Iverson would hinder the development of players like Danilo Gallinari (an amazing start to his sophomore season) and rookie Toney Douglas. I agree somewhat, but you know what unlike the Grizzlies what do the Knicks have to lose?

The Grizzlies at least hold their pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the Knicks do not. So the Knicks have two options.

Grizzlies Media Day Basketball

1.) Sign Iverson, bring some excitement to a team that lacks it.

or

2.) Let Iverson ride into the sunset and let their young kids to continue to develop.

Ironically, I think Iverson can do both. AI would bring something other then excitement to the Knicks, he’d bring toughness. This is a sit around, play soft, don’t create opportunities team. Iverson is a scorer by nature and loves to drive to the basket, something none of the Knicks player do. Having a true penetrating guard could help open up even more shots for the youngsters, in a way helping them continue their develop but in possible winning situations.

I’ve lived in Philadelphia for over a decade now and have seen Iverson play many times. The guy has always had talent but I always said I’d never want him playing for my Knicks. But you know what, my opinion has changed and for one reason.

The Knicks don’t have their 2010 pick. Right now it looks like the Knicks will have the best chance at winning the draft lottery and what will they have to show for it? Absolutely nothing, so really what good is it finishing last?

I want the Knicks to bring in Iverson, even if it does stunt the growth of some of the youngsters. Adding AI to the mix should translate to a few more wins and hopefully a pick in the 7-10 range again. It would still hurt to lose that but hey at least we wouldn’t be giving away the TOP draft pick.

Now if the Knicks don’t sign Iverson, I think it could be a while before he latches on to another NBA team. There aren’t many that would want to take on that headache.

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