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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sixers Talk: Iverson trades? King excuses? 

Oh, the Sixers off-season could very interesting. A lot more than the games have been, if two columnists named Smith are right.

First, the Inquirer's own Stephen A. flatout says he thinks GM Billy King is not responsible for every Sixers move, because somebody else interfered. (You might have missed this, since it was well into yesterday's game story.) "Someone in the Sixers' front office has hand-picked a bunch of patsies to play alongside Iverson," writes Smith. But after quoting King saying, "Point the finger solely at me," the columnist responds: "Hogwash. ... I'm saying it right here, right now, that King deferred to someone. To whom, I'm not sure, but someone convinced him to allow a bunch of choirboys to be paired with the Rottweiler that is Iverson." So who allegedly interfered? Chairman Ed Snider? President Peter Luukko? Previous president Dave Coskey? And how? Could Smith be intimating that the marketing folks pushed getting and starting Kyle Korver to have a white guy who'd appeal to white fans? How about the hiring of Mo Cheeks? Another mistaken concession to the fans? Whatever shaking and baking took place in the offices, sounds as if we'll hear more about if King's job appears increasingly in jeopardy.

Iverson's the focus of the other Smith, Sam of the Chicago Tribune. In a column he enivisions the possible pairing of A.I. with superstar forward Kevin Garnett, either here in Philly or there in Minnesota. Who would trade who for what? Well, that's not clear, just that something's gotta give in both cities. Garnett's miserable, the Timberwolves are on the decline, and, as for the Sixers, "Perhaps no team has underachieved more this season ... they've been unmotivated and undisciplined, an unhappy mess." So the T'Wolves might bid for Iverson (or reobtain Stephon Marbury) or maybe the Sixers will go for Garnett, jettisoning a grabbag of talent. Funny, didn't past rumors have Iverson getting swapped for Garnett? Putting them together sounds like a a sensationalistic screenplay. More back-to-reality might be Scenario B (or is it C?): "Memphis long has been a quiet suitor for Iverson." GM Jerry West could offer a package of Eddie Jones (good salary-cap expiration date), young forward Hakim Warrick, forward Shane Battier and maybe a first-round draft pick, Sam Smith writes.


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