In the wee hours of this morning I shot down the "Denver is dangling Allen Iverson for Chauncey Billups" rumor, but either one crazy game of telephone is going on or I was completely wrong. Marc Spears of the Boston Globe, who originally reported this rumor, is now saying this:
A source close to Nuggets guard Allen Iverson is telling people in Denver that he expects to be traded to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups.
Iverson makes $20 million this year. Billups makes half of that. The deal can not be executed unless the Pistons involve more players to match Iverson's cap figure.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is reporting that Antonio McDyess would be included to make salaries work. It's hardly official but it seems to be gaining steam. Let's sit tight for another hour or and so see if anything actually comes of this.
The Detroit Pistons have reached a tentative agreement to trade Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess to the Denver Nuggets for Allen Iverson. Neither player was at this morning's shoot-around. Team officials said that more information would be forthcoming later today.
Update: Ric Bucher just said on ESPN that Cheikh Samb is being included, but added that one potential snag is that McDyess might rather retire than be traded.
Update 12:20PM: Marc Spears has sources who say AI and Billups are both telling friends they expect the deal to go down today.
Update 12:50 PM: From the Denver Post:
Denver plans to buy out McDyess's contract so it appears he won't actually play for the Nuggets.
That said, after Brent Barry's shenanigans with the Sonics/Spurs last year, the league might not look to kindly if McDyess conveniently decides to return to Detroit. Stay tuned.
Update 1:02 PM: The Rocky Mountain News reports that "a Nuggets source confirmed Monday the team has agreed" yada yada yada. I'm thinking I probably don't have to chase down any more confirmation. Now all that's left is figuring out if the Pistons are getting anything else (a throw-in player? any picks?) in return.