We're about a week into the regular season and already a blockbuster trade has been made. According to various sources, the Denver Nuggets are trading Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess. Nothing official yet, but if it goes down, there may be some changes in store for the Northwest Division.
It seems like a decent trade for both teams, but from where I'm sitting, Denver is getting the better of this one. The Nuggets need a real point guard and a defensive presence, which Chauncey Billups provides, and they also get some toughness inside with McDyess. Iverson is in the last year of his contract, and if the Nuggets thought they couldn't or shouldn't re-sign "The Answer" then this move is a no-brainer for Denver. They get an All-Star point guard and a serviceable power forward for a guy they were going to lose anyway.
For Detroit, they get some scoring punch while paving the way for the Rodney Stuckey point guard era in the Motor City. They've got Rasheed Wallace's contract coming off the books at the end of the season, so if they decide to let Iverson walk as well, they're looking at some serious cap flexibility with no other contracts (save Jason Maxiell) of note coming up for renewal.
But we're all about the Trail Blazers around here, so my interest in this trade goes as far as how it changes the playoff picture in the Western Conference. This move probably isn't good news for Portland fans, as it clearly makes the Nuggets a better team. It might be a rough go initially in the Mile High while the team gets familiarized with each other (four of Denver's regular rotation players from last year are now on different teams), but once they lock it in, this looks like a better team, at least on paper.
What about you? How does this change the race in the Northwest Division? Are the Nuggets a playoff contender again? Where they to begin with? Lets here it.