UPDATE: Allen Iverson is a Nugget

I hear we're about to have a deal. I'll update as soon as I know more.

UPDATE: Credit Marc Stein and Chris Sheridan (NOTE: I now believe Stein and Sheridan were, in fact, second to get this story online, trailing David Aldridge by a few minutes. Not the biggest deal in the world, but if you're Stein, Sheridan, Aldridge etc. the game is, after all, to be first. I was happy to have all three reporting the same thing so early--those are three great reporters with a ton of credibility alone, and exponentially more in triplicate.):

The Denver Nuggets have reached an agreement in principle with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire Allen Iverson, according to NBA front-office sources.

The trade, pending league approval, some two weeks after Iverson demanded a trade in Philly, would send Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round picks to the Sixers for Iverson and perhaps another minimum-salaried player or two. It was expected to be completed later Tuesday barring any snags.

David Aldridge is hearing the same thing.

Andre Miller is a pretty good point guard whose contract expires (UPDATE: as Sheridan and Stein reported: "Miller... makes $8.7 million this season and has $19.2 million left on his contract over the following two seasons.") (also, check out Sham Sports, which a trusted journalist assures me is an excellent source of salary information) at the end of this year according to HoopsHype, so that's a pretty good fit for Philadelphia. Joe Smith also has an expiring deal. Combined they are worth a reported $15.4 million that Philadelphia gets to take off the cap. Subtract Iverson's $20 million, and I make it that Philadelphia will head into next season with only about $40 $49 million in payroll and three picks in an excellent draft. The following year, half their salary will disappear with Chris Webber. So it'll be a long hard rebuild for them, but they're well on their way.

UPDATE: I'm not to be trusted with a calculator. GLee comments:

Henry, don't know how you're doing your math here. Remove Iverson from next year's team salary of 74 mil, and you get 54 mil. Add back in Miller's salary of 9 mil for next year, and you get 63 mil. Add in rookie salaries, one of which is certain to be high (in the 4 mil range), and you're left with something like 68-70 mil total salary for next season. That doesn't even include their mid-level exception, which they'll probably use for a power forward if they don't bring smith back or draft someone for that role. They're not going to experience real salary cap relief until Webber is gone.

The only thing I'd add: Don't forget Joe Smith is coming off the cap.

Denver, on the other hand, has made a big bold move. They're declaring loudly that a Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson tandem will work, or bust. They have given up any hope of cap room, and some great draft picks, by locking into this high stakes philosophy. Very exciting. I love boldness, and it would be a beautiful thing to see those two players learn to really blossom together.


More thoughts as they tumble out:

  • Seems like there must be another move to follow, right? Doesn't Denver need someone to distribute the ball to all those players who like to shoot? They could probably use two or three players like that...

  • With three picks, one of which will be very high considering the losing that's about to happen in the City of Brotherly Love, I'd say Philadelphia is the front-runner in the Greg Oden sweepstakes. Even if they end up second or third, they'd have a lot of ammo to trade up. Although, if you traded down from first this year, and Joakim Noah, Kevin Durant , or whoever didn't explode immediately, you'd be fired for sure. Most GMs would be scared to make that trade, I'd bet.

  • The key for Denver is George Karl's ability to keep everyone on the same page. He has done it before. He has also gone mildly insane before.

  • As much as the obvious point might be that Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony need the ball, J.R. Smith and Earl Boykins are probably bigger problems. You can satisfy two superstars, most likely. But Smith and Boykins also need the ball to be useful, and who knows how they'll react to reduced touches. Should be a great time for any Nugget willing to play D, hit the open three, and grab rebounds.

  • The 700 Level has a nice Allen Iverson tribute going. Philadelphia fans, that is the place to take your empty feelings.

  • Marc Stein was on the radio with Dan Patrick. Patrick asks a good question: if there's any chance this report is a trial balloon to get the Clippers or someone to raise the stakes. Remember, it's not an official trade just yet. Stein believes Andre Miller will make the Sixers much better and will hurt their chance at ending with a record bad enough to win the lottery. Stein says no third team could be found to take on Nene, Najera, etc.

  • It's now official, as has been announced on the Sixers website (right next to the ad for the clearance sale on Sixers gear in the NBA store). The Nuggets also got Ivan McFarlin.