Sports Outside the Beltway

Iverson Traded to Nuggets for Joe Smith and Two #1s

Allen Iverson has been traded to the Denver Nuggets, ESPN reports.

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.

The Sixers had been hoping to take back only expiring contracts in any Iverson deal, unless they were receiving a top-flight young player like Minnesota’s Randy Foye or Shaun Livingston of the Los Angeles Clippers. But with Philly and Denver struggling to find a third team to join in to make the deal more financially enticing for the Sixers, they decided to end an auction that began in earnest when Iverson’s demand to be traded was confirmed by Sixers chairman Ed Snider on Dec. 8.

This deal will bring Philly a former league assist leader in Miller, Smith’s expiring salary of nearly $7 million and those two first-round picks in June — projected to be in the 20s — to go with their own lottery pick. Miller is averaging 13 points and 9.1 assists per game — third-best in the NBA — while Smith, an 11-year veteran, has played little this season, averaging only 13.5 minutes and 5.1 points per game.

The Nuggets’ interest in Iverson dates to last February and has only increased since the Sixers made him available to the whole league earlier this month. Their chief motivation is pairing Iverson with Anthony in coach George Karl’s up-tempo attack, but acquiring Iverson now — just a day after Anthony and J.R. Smith were suspended for 15 and 10 games, respectively, for their roles in Saturday night’s fight with the New York Knicks — gives a much-needed jolt to Denver’s depleted roster.

You’re never going to get equal value for a superstar and the 76ers didn’t. The only consolation is the two 1st round picks, but that seems to matter less in the NBA than any other sport except baseball.

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