The Sixers will use Iverson to replace guard Louis Williams, who broke his jaw in a collision with Washington's Antawn Jamison in a game before Thanksgiving and will be out for two months. Theoretically, that means AI will have the starting job he's been craving since he was traded from Denver to Detroit last November.
Is he worth a roster spot? Sure, so long as you temper your expectations. So long as he's starting, there's no reason to think he can't average around 20 points per game, hit a few threes, and rack up solid steal and assist numbers. (His reputation as a ball-hog is well-established, but Iverson has actually averaged over six dimes per game for his career, and had 5 apg last season as an unhappy part-timer.)
The two big questions: how will Iverson's arrival impact the other Sixers, and what happens when Williams gets back?
If we assume Iverson is playing starter's minutes - and that seems like a safe assumption - we should also assume he'll be taking a lot of shots, and there's a limited number of shots in a game. That means fewer opportunities for everyone else. It could become an obstacle to Elton Brand finally putting up Elton Brand-style numbers in Philly. It also means Andre Iguodala will probably go back to playing on the wing more, which means he becomes more of a scorer and less of a distributor. It will be interesting to see how Eddie Jordan's new starting lineup takes shape - does Iverson play alongside Willie Green, or will Jordan continue to use rookie Jrue Holiday at the point, Iverson at the two and Iguodala at the three?
The latter option might make the most sense, as it would create the opportunity to slide Williams back into his starting spot in place of Holiday when he's ready to return.
Either way, the Sixers will be a little more interesting to watch for the next few weeks - which may have been the main reason for the signing.
All "percent owned" stats are taken from ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.
Anthony Morrow (48.6% owned) - Morrow's inconsistent game-to-game production may turn off some fantasy players. Don't think of him as a guy who'll score 27 one night and eight the next; think of him as a guy averaging 19 ppg over his last five games.
Ersan Ilyasova (27.6% owned) - As Brandon Jennings' production has tailed off (you didn't really expect him to shoot 55% from three all year, did you?) the Bucks' other European import has stepped up. Saturday's 20-point, 16-board performance got the attention of a lot of fantasy owners.
Luke Ridnour (6.5% owned) - Getting additional minutes with Michael Redd hurt yet again, Ridnour has actually been Milwaukee's most effective point guard for the last week or so. He tweaked a hamstring in Monday's win over the Bulls, though, so check the latest injury reports before making any claims.
Delonte West (3.0% owned) - The Cavs would love for one of their off-guards to step up and really own that job, and West could become the guy to do it. The talented-but-troubled guard racked up a double-double (10 points, 10 assists) in Saturday's win over Dallas.
Jamaal Tinsley (1.9% owned) - I didn't like Tinsley as a fantasy option when he first signed. "He's been on the shelf for too long," I reasoned, "and the obvious move is to make him the backup that Iverson refused to be." What changed? Mike Conley got hurt.
Courtney Lee (5.9% owned) - New coach Kiki Vandeweghe says he's going to open up the Nets' offense a bit and focus on developing the youngsters.
Article first appeared on 12/2/09