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Friday, May 26, 2006

"A.I. Stands for Available Immediately" 

This week, while South Beach was speculating about Allen Iverson partying, Philly was abuzz about Sixers GM Billy King talking of "rebuilding," and Atlanta was debating acquiring the Sixers frenetic all-too guard. One Coketown columnist is gung-ho (that's his quote in the headline), another rather dubious. The rumor has been floating awhile, in various versions. Swap A.I. in a sign-and-trade for 6-9 forward Al Harrington (19 points, 7 rebounds a game). Maybe add forward Marvin Williams (same height, lesser stats) or another young forward. In Tuesday's draft lottery, the Hawks wound up with the pick No. 5, so that's in the mix as well. King has pooh-poohed the rumors, and so does the Inquirer's Joe Juliano in his online Q&A. But the Sixers need a star with more size, and that's not Webber, writes columnist Stephen A. Smith. Another rumor: Iverson to Minnesota for the sixth pick, says the Chicago Tribune's Stan Smith. The draft is June 28. Free agents can't be signed until July 12, but teams can talk with players starting July 1. Sounds like six more weeks of rumors, followed by surprise at what actually transpires ... or doesn't.

Me, I'm ambivalent about trading A.I. Yes, it makes sense to build around taller, younger players, and he is the team's most valuable bait. But it's unlikely to land a true star in return, and the NBA is all about stars. Besides, King has made poor moves in the past, enabled by Ed Snider's open-wallet policies, so it's easy to worry about the outcome.

In a recent Early Word poll, fans said King, not Iverson, was the Sixer who most should go.

Ultimately, though, does it even really matter? This could be a no-win situation, with championship hopes far-off in every scenario. I'm wondering how you feel.

By the way, I recently asked a former club official what he thought the Sixers needed to do. His response: "Sell the team."
How soon could the Sixers be contenders again?
Free polls from Pollhost.com


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