It's not quite "you heard from Joe Dumars' mouth himself" official, but it's "even NBA.com is reporting it" official. Here's what people are saying:
Because of McDyess's objection, the Nuggets may waive the mandatory physical each player in a trade must take in order for the league to approve any deal. McDyess may be seeking a buyout of the remainder of his contract (two years, $13.6 million).
A source with knowledge of the trade discussions says that the Nuggets would be willing to discuss a buyout with McDyess, but only if he agrees to a "significant" amount less than the $13.6 million he's due through the end of the 2009-10 season.
According to the source, McDyess would have to give up about 50 percent of his salary, meaning he'd have to agree to take about $6.8 million of the $13.6 million he's due in any potential buyout if he wants to play elsewhere. Otherwise, the Nuggets will keep him on their roster regardless of whether he decides to report or not.
One thing I do not want to lose site of in the excitement of this trade is I wanted to comment on the Allen Iverson Era in Denver. The Iverson deal made the Nuggets relevant and a dark horse for a title entering last season which was a rarity for Nugget fans. He gave it his all night in and night out and no matter what you think of him personally off the court or his style on it he was fun to watch. I have no idea how he will fare in Detroit, maybe Dumars wants him for his expiring deal as much as for his talents as a player, but Piston fans need not wonder if he wants to win. He may be slowing on offense, but he will be bringing a new defensive mindset with him to Detroit so that is a nice little bonus thanks to George Karl.
So to AI, thank you for the year and a half you spent in Denver and good luck in Detroit or wherever else you may end up.
It's an absolute steal for the Pistons.
It's an absolute steal even if Iverson turns an ankle on his way toward Auburn Hills and doesn't play a game for this team, because Dumars just managed to do the exact thing (acquire cap space in one fell swoop) that the Nuggets had been supposedly trying to do all along with AI and his expiring contract.
The Nuggets? I've become convinced that they think the NBA is folding sometime this summer.
The Pistons, meanwhile, will undoubtedly contend that their risks are mitigated by the fact that Iverson, who turned 33 in June, is in the final year of his contract at $20.8 million.
Dumars loves to gamble on players who are reputed to possess as many minuses as pluses, as seen with the trade-deadline acquisition of Rasheed Wallace in 2004 which spurred Detroit to its first championship since Dumars was playing in 1990. If this gamble doesn't work, swapping Billups for Iverson would give Detroit financial flexibility to pursue a more aggressive makeover next summer, with the highly regarded Rodney Stuckey staying put as the long-term cornerstone of the Pistons' backcourt.
Do you start Iverson at point, keep Rip Hamilton at the two and bring Rodney Stuckey off the bench? What about going small with Stuckey at PG, Iverson at SG, Rip at SF and Tayshaun Prince at the four? Or you could have a Stuckey/Iverson backcourt, keep Prince at the three and bring Hamilton off the bench as the second unit’s top scorer while Iverson leads the first unit. However coach Michael Curry wants to play it, Iverson’s ability to play the two or the one at an All-NBA level gives him greater options than he had with Billups, an All-NBA point guard but not so much as a two-guard. With Iverson’s speed, a small lineup featuring Stuckey, Iverson, Rip, Tayshaun and Jason Maxiell could run with the fastest teams in the League, while the Pistons still have the elements to play a slower half-court game as well.
The Pistons could’ve had Iverson last July in a trade involving Chauncey Billups, but Carmelo Anthony was the first Denver Nugget on their list. Joe Dumars underestimated (sic) the value of his pieces on the trade market when he made his bold declaration at last season’s end that dramatic change was coming. The real value of the veteran core of Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace was in how they played together.
Dumars promised change, and when the same team returned for the season opener last week, the reaction from the Palace crowd was like watching "Gone With the Wind" for the 50th time.
Sure, it’s a classic, but how many times can you watch Atlanta burn without inevitably getting bored seeing it collapse in flames?