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August 22, 2009

No deal yet, but Iverson-to-Bobcats viable

Dime Magazine's web site reports that Allen Iverson and the Bobcats already have agreed to terms on a contract that will be signed within a week.

I'm told by a great source that's not true. However, that doesn't mean Iverson won't be a Bobcat. It sounds like there's a good chance that will happen. My source says definitively that Iverson's first choice is to play for Larry Brown again in Charlotte, and that there have been serious discussions about making that happen.

However, there are complications. As Brown told me and ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan, the team's payroll and roster both stand in the way. With the Bobcats inching toward the luxury-tax threshold, it's problematic to make Iverson a fair offer, even in a depressed economy. Minutes are another issue: With Raja Bell, D.J. Augustin and restricted free agent Raymond Felton on the roster, where would Brown find sufficient playing time for a nine-time All-Star who averaged nearly 42 minutes his first 12 NBA seasons?

If any guard is traded, I'm guessing it would be Bell, whose contract expires following the coming season.

The attraction of Iverson is obvious: You'd be adding a great scorer to a team that was last in the NBA in scoring and you'd be adding a star to a team struggling to sell tickets and create a buzz.

But there are plenty of challenges, too. The net effect of replacing Bell with Iverson would be making the Bobcats smaller and weaker defensively. Let's say, just to play this out, that Felton and Iverson are this team's starting backcourt, backed up by Augustin and rookie Gerald Henderson. That means Felton would usually have to defend the opposing team's shooting guard. Is it workable to ask him to guard Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant and Joe Johnson on a nightly basis?

Also, there's the chemistry issue. I believe Brown when he says he'd enjoy coaching Iverson again, but obviously Iverson's history is high-maintenance. The Bobcats have great locker room chemistry; Felton and Gerald Wallace are fine leaders and there's a genuine understanding among the players that they're all vested in each other's success

.You'd be betting Iverson would respect and assimilate into all that.

Posted by Observer Sports on August 22, 2009 at 11:28 AM | Permalink


Why would they trade Bell?? Iverson and DJ are not nearly the D man Bell is. Plus you would have 2 guards playing well under 6 ft with very little defensive intensity... not going to happen.

Bobcats need Bell.

Posted by: STH | Aug 22, 2009 11:40:30 AM

Keep Raja, trade VladRad.

Posted by: HoopFan | Aug 22, 2009 11:41:56 AM

Isnt Bell a big reason for the teams success last year? Seems like you'd be going backwards here. THis makes no sense to me, i dont care how much brown wants to coach AI...did they ever win a championship together? No, whats the attraction? Tickets? Unless Kobe, LeBron, Wade, or MJ himself suits up, aint nobody with money gonna commit to tix as long as BJ (Bob Johnson) is the owner...

Posted by: DNYCE | Aug 22, 2009 12:03:02 PM

just say N O to A I

Posted by: koolaidmansux | Aug 22, 2009 12:17:53 PM

Trade Felton and use AI as point beside Bell.

Posted by: Tyrone | Aug 22, 2009 12:40:09 PM

I wasn't advocating trading Bell. I'm saying that based on his expiring contract and age, he'd be the logical candidate to be traded.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Aug 22, 2009 12:46:27 PM

We're gonna need Felton if we get Iverson. Iverson is a shooting guard, and that is how Brown will play him. We'll need Felton to run the point on offense and guard shooting guards on defense. Neither, Augustin or Bell, are capable of doing both.

Posted by: RP | Aug 22, 2009 12:47:14 PM

agreed play iverson at point. He is just as good as a distributor as DJ

Posted by: Brown | Aug 22, 2009 12:48:10 PM

Bell is key, the odd man out should be Felton. He's a quality back up wanting starter money, and he doesn't deserve it. If money is such a big concern, youd come out cheaper offering Iverson a respectable one year deal than committing another 5 years to Felton. The reason Ray's agent and the Bobcats are so far apart is the Cats are trying to decide what you offer your starting point guard when you hope is doesn't remain your starting point guard.

Posted by: mp | Aug 22, 2009 1:09:04 PM

jus bring in AI already

Posted by: truthbtold4 | Aug 22, 2009 1:15:30 PM

Trade Bell for Brandon Bass the Magic love shooting three's. It would work for both sides. Then trade Diop for Courtney Lee or David lee.

Posted by: Br2850 | Aug 22, 2009 1:18:43 PM

AI's career depends on this season. He'll be on his best behavior i'm betting.

And regarding that, he was a saint in Denver. First one to practice every single day according to George Karl.

It seems like if he's in a situation he likes (good coach, happy with teammates, etc) then he's a terrific teammate and a good soldier. If he's not.... (see Philly in 2006 or Detroit---bad coaches, bad teams).

Regardless, the guy always gives 110% when he's on the court. Not many stars do.

This is a win-win for both sides if the deal goes through.

Posted by: Shamers | Aug 22, 2009 1:22:58 PM

RP, you think we'll need Felton to guard other teams 2 guards?? Do you watch basketball? Iverson or Bell starting should just be determined by matchup. If we are playing Miami, start Bell. If we are playing the Knicks, start Iverson.

Posted by: mp | Aug 22, 2009 1:28:37 PM

AI and Larry Brown will generate more ESPN buzz for us, and will see more tickets. I don't think we need him, but we could use more star power.

Posted by: Carter | Aug 22, 2009 1:58:27 PM

I"d rather see Vlad moved rather than Raja Bell. Raja is the one piece that needs to stay. Defense and 3pt shooting. When Felton hits the bench move AI over to the PG spot and you have a traditional sized lineup.

Keep all 4 guards (DJ, Ray, AI, and Raja).

Let's not forget that Larry Brown showed Iverson how to play defense in the NBA. He was a solid all around defender from 99-01. And with Raja, Tyson, Gerald Wallace, etc all around him, even his gambles won't be too harsh to the team.

Posted by: Shamers | Aug 22, 2009 2:31:11 PM

Definitely conflicted. On the one hand, the cats need a scorer like AI in the worst kind of way.

On the other hand, he showed last year in Detroit that he's not happy accepting anything less than a Star role. That's been a constant throughout his career, he doesn't mince words. Seems like he could really hurt team chemistry.

On the other other hand, how would he even fit into the backcourt? Almost any way you slice it the backcourt is going to have trouble defensively. Trading Bell seems like a real blow, he's one of those veteran leaders that good teams need to stay even-keeled.

Just put your faith in LB I suppose.

Posted by: David | Aug 22, 2009 2:31:51 PM

Maybe Brown can convince AI he needs less minutes. I say we keep them all. Bell and AI are both 34 years old. We need them to be fresh late in the season and playoffs. Remember Bell broke down last year after such a long playoff push. Wouldn't it be ideal if Brown can pick between defensive Bell and offensive Iverson in games? The best teams have talent this deep why can't the Bobcats? Felton, DJ, Iverson and Bell would be a solid backcourt. As for Henderson, we know what Brown thinks of rookies. He wouldn't sit the bench that long based on Bell's and Iverson's age.

Posted by: Les | Aug 22, 2009 2:33:10 PM

Late in games i'm pretty sure we'll be seeing a Ray/AI/Raja/Gerald/Tyson lineup on the floor so i'm not too concerned about who starts or plays in the middle of the 2nd quarter.

That's 4 above average defenders and one guy with quick hands. That lineup looks great defensively (albeit a tad undersized) and much improved offensively.

This is a win-win.

Posted by: Bobcats10 | Aug 22, 2009 3:01:54 PM

The best part about AI coming to Charlotte would be Felton wouldn't have to create a shot when the game is on the line. I like Raymond but he shouldn't have to.

Posted by: Les | Aug 22, 2009 3:16:59 PM

I have wanted AI in Charlotte since there were rumors of him being traded here before he got traded to Denver.
If we sign him our lineup is going to be absolutly sick. I dont care whether we bring Felton back or not. I felt like we needed to make a decision between DJ and Ray anyway. Maybe sign and trade DJ for a backup big man and picks?

Posted by: Jesse | Aug 22, 2009 3:29:41 PM

A.I. would be a terrific asset to this team for many reasons(scoring/star appeal). I believe D.J. is the future PG and Felton should be moved. In my dream scenario, MJ would initiate a 3 team trade sending Wallace to Portland and Bell to Utah. Portland would then move both Outlaw and Blake to Utah & Batum to Charlotte. Utah would send Carlos Boozer to the Bobcats. The new line up:


Make A.I. the starting PG for 2 or 3 years at 5mill/yr and let Felton play for the qualifing offer, but ship him and Nazr off in couple of months for players like Memphis' (Jaric & Hunter)


Posted by: Larry | Aug 22, 2009 4:02:07 PM

Felton the starting point? I don't think that's happening, even if he returns. I mean, even on the splash page they're marketing Augustin and Gerald Wallace.

I think this is D.J.'s year. If the 'Cats can get Iverson cheaper than Felton, it's a no-brainer to go for it. If he's going to cost more, Felton may be a better bet.

Posted by: Bdub | Aug 22, 2009 5:17:56 PM

Signing Iverson would set the team back 5 years. I don't see any reason that any team would take AI at this stage of his career when it is obvious that he only cares about being the star.

Posted by: Husky | Aug 22, 2009 5:27:36 PM

A.I is better than any player on that roster, he is been labeled a negative person because of what happened in Detroit. Frankly speaking Detroit was not a good fit for him and the players did not play as they were accustomed to playing.

Posted by: ehis murphy | Aug 22, 2009 5:44:41 PM

Iverson will be a huge asset to any team that is smart enough to look pass the Bashings...some true, some imagined & sign him already. At Denver he got them to 50 wins..without Nene, & with out Birdman, & Even without Dontay Jones, a noted Defensive stopper...So Chauncey Came along..& they won 4 more Games.. And they Faced the Lakers in the Conf Finals instead of the 1st Round..Result The Loss. Same as with Iverson...The only difference 4 more wins...Meanwhile a Pouting Rick Hamilton, an unmotivated Rasheed wallace, & Rookie Coach (now fired) 'coincidentally ruined his season' That Detroit team could've go places..They showed early promise by Handing the Lakers their 1st lost of the season, decimating Lebron & the Cavs & easily schooled the Magic...But Curry wasn't content & kept on changing & experimenting, till he lost the respect of the players & they basically gave up....Blame Iverson....
I sincerely believe that whoever signs will Get the best season out of him ever. one has to only look @ his All star appearances to see how well he plays with other stars, By throwing a bunch a assist, & racking up a bunch of steals....Please Sign him already & Look beyond the media machines that thrives on negative stories...

Posted by: Omar Groves | Aug 22, 2009 6:10:37 PM

Told you I had hunches, LOL. Well, I'll still believe it when I see the press conference. Hopefully doesn't include Bell, so they can rekindle that 2001 Finals run fever, albeit a decade late and a dollar short.

Posted by: Ari | Aug 22, 2009 6:19:00 PM

The Bobcats made their first mistake extending the 5.5 mil qualifying offer to Felton... Otherwise Iverson would've signed weeks ago and the team could be rid of Felton. There's practically no way to trade Nazr, Vlad, or Diop so the team has to do something with Felton or Bell. I say the answer is more than simple, the rotation is much better and the minutes more easily divided with Felton out. Worst case scenario they run a 3 guard set up for 4 minutes a quarter, though I'm no fan of playing Wallace at the 4, it may even help spark some offense

Posted by: Nick | Aug 22, 2009 6:25:23 PM

Signing Allen Iverson would be the most exciting thing that happened in this franchise's short history; he's a future Hall of Famer. It's not without problems, and Rick made excellent points above, summarizing the pros and cons of such a move.
As much as I like Raymond - for both his attitude and his talent - I agree with those saying that he, not Raja Bell, should be traded, in a sign-and-trade that will get us the back-up power forward we need. Raymond is definitely a good defender at PG, but having to defend on a regular basis shooting guards to whom he gives up 5 inches (in most cases) is not fair to him, and not good for the team's defense. Also, having a RF-AI starting back court will have to diminish Diaw's role in offense; Diaw's passing skills, his ability to be a "point forward" can do a lot for the 'Cats' offense, and won't happen much with that kind of back court behind him.
Iverson, as far as I can see, is the living definition of a combo guard. He can create a lot for himself, obviously, but also for others; his passing skills have usually been underrated. An Iverson-Bell starting back court is better for our defense than the other option (RF-AI) and it would also take a lot of the scoring pressure off Bell (who, we know, is a reluctant shooter). AI is not, and doesn't need to be, a traditional point guard; but he can run the offense working together with Diaw and using Diaw's skills as a point forward. I'm sure that Larry Brown can make such an offense work, though, it it will take time, it will be a big change compared to last season.

Posted by: Sandy | Aug 22, 2009 7:00:58 PM

Good point. AI's success in Denver has been absolutely forgotten after the Detroit disaster.

He barely played with Nene while he was a Nugget, he had an often suspended Carmelo, and the toughest Western Conference in history and he led them to a 50 win season.

If he can have an efficient season like he had in Denver (he averaged 26ppg, 7apg, 45% shooting) then Charlotte might see crowds and excitement since the days of Glenn Rice.

Posted by: Bobcats10 | Aug 22, 2009 11:03:31 PM

Go A I...Bring it on!!

Posted by: know_truth | Aug 22, 2009 11:18:00 PM

Don't get Iverson. I'd rather see a winning team without stars. Than a losing team with a star. If we have to trade Raja Bell I wouldn't want Iverson. The only way Iverson would be the best fit is if he played point and considering Felton played his best ball as the established point last year, I think getting Iverson might hurt rather than help. Don't do it Bobcats.

Posted by: fakethis | Aug 22, 2009 11:48:07 PM

I've been saying this for months Rick (along with a few others) and all you've done is shoot us down.

I said that either Emeka or Felton would be traded and you replied "no way either one of those guys is traded this summer."

Raja won't be the one to go, it'll be Felton. He's also on an expiring.

Posted by: ASChin | Aug 23, 2009 1:17:04 AM

Iverson has a proven history of indiscipline, poor team work ethic, distaste for practice and selfishness. He is a ballhog who has only cared about himself. Why would we want to bring him in to kill our chemistry and spread cancer to the rest of the team? Let's also not forget that Larry Brown once said in public "I can't coach that a.s.s.h.o.l.e" Yes he will sell some tickets by bringing in some groupies, but is it -destryoing the team- in our long-term interest?

Posted by: BobbyCat | Aug 23, 2009 2:45:34 AM

Good post Omar. To me this is a no brainer. Felton is the odd man out. Sign AI for a year or two just to see how it works. DJ is the future, Felton has reached his ceiling & its time to move on from all of their horrible draft choices.

Posted by: D.W.G | Aug 23, 2009 6:18:44 AM

minutes isn't the real problem. bell can play some small foward. bob johnson doesn't want to pay anybody is the problem

Posted by: joe cool | Aug 23, 2009 10:29:23 AM

You posters have no idea about salary cap or talent or position. Felton is a top 6-7 NBA point guard. Bell is the most expendable. Iverson is not a point guard. Listen to Rick and put aside your Carolina or Duke bias. Why can't you understand that Diop and Mohammed are not going to get you Lebron James. Good Lord people. AI may end up here, but not at the expense of Felton {unless Deron, Chris, or some other near that talent) is begging to play here.

Posted by: MajorLeague | Aug 23, 2009 11:46:27 AM

been saying it since day one, yes Rick? This is happening. This is great for the franchise. AI has something to prove. Great reporting here, btw.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 23, 2009 12:44:51 PM

I think that the bobcats should trade Gerald Wallace And A 2nd RD pick to Utah for Boozer and then sign and trade Felton to the Wolves for Ryan Gomes And cash then send Diaw and Mohammed to the clippers for Camby and Telfair. With all that said and done Bring In Iverson as long as he's on his best behaivier and if I was the GM of the Bobcats I'd havea talk with Iverson of the expectations before signing him

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 23, 2009 5:53:33 PM

I think that the bobcats should trade Gerald Wallace And A 2nd RD pick to Utah for Boozer and then sign and trade Felton to the Wolves for Ryan Gomes And cash then send Diaw and Mohammed to the clippers for Camby and Telfair. With all that said and done Bring In Iverson as long as he's on his best behaivier and if I was the GM of the Bobcats I'd havea talk with Iverson of the expectations before signing him

Posted by: Jeff | Aug 23, 2009 5:53:33 PM

I like that Batum/Boozer trade. Does it check out in the salary cap?

Posted by: Kevin | Aug 23, 2009 6:43:07 PM

Iverson would be a terrible on the court and off the court. It would set the team back and get Jordan and Brown fired.

Posted by: John | Aug 23, 2009 8:41:34 PM

I think Iverson should play the point. It'll be a perfect fit with Raja Bell's defensive and shooting skills along with Iverson's Scoring and stealing abilities. So this would mean Ray would have to be traded. Ray and Diop could be traded for boozer and a draft pick.
Starting lineup

Posted by: Dinoo | Aug 23, 2009 9:42:01 PM

This is a great thing if it happens. People - relax, it is a 1 year contract, maybe 2. this won't make the franchise any worse off if it goes bad and provide more financial flexibility at less the investment. Upside here is too good. I like it when someone has something to prove. He will win NBA comeback player of the year if he comes here on a 1 year contract, leaving him something to prove in that 1 year for Summer 2010.

Posted by: HJ | Aug 23, 2009 11:12:52 PM

Larry you are right...Michael does need to figure out a way ASAP. BUY the team and go from there! Keep Felton people add AI.

Posted by: Bobcat FanD | Aug 24, 2009 7:11:51 AM

Iverson is one of the best 2 guards in the last 10 years. Only in Charlotte would you have people argue that it's a bad idea. We haven't had a start in Charlotte since... well... EVER. LJ, and Alonzo are about the closest we've ever come. Come on people! AI is still the answer. Trade Augustine and Vlad Rad for a decent 4 man. Keep Bell. Trade Henderson as well if you have to. I can't believe we are having salary cap discussions. Just ditch the 8-12 spots. This team is not as deep as we think it is. Charlotte has always had too fond of eyes for the players on their team. As evidenced by Muggsy and Dell Curry.

Posted by: flanahan32 | Aug 24, 2009 8:07:42 AM

The best case scenario would be to Sign&Trade Felton for a PF. There are several teams out there that would like to get a guy like Felton. Perhaps NY, Philly, Golden State or Memphis can be some good options. We might be able to get: Al Harrington, Mareese Speighs, Braden Wright or Darrell Arthur in return. We might even get a 2nd Round pick in return from some of those teams and any of those guys will help coming of the bench. (Note: I’m not sure if the Al Harrington deal works, due to the S&T rules.)

The roster would be:

Posted by: RobC | Aug 24, 2009 10:26:04 AM

"You'd be betting Iverson would respect and assimilate into all that."

Joe Dumars lost that bet.

Posted by: Mike | Aug 24, 2009 11:45:42 AM

I find it amusing that just 2 years ago the Bobcats were heavily criticized for having the lowest payroll in the NBA, but now they are faced with coming too close to the luxury tax.

I'm a season ticket holder and I think if nothing else A.I. would be fun to watch and would relieve some pressure off of everyone else on the court with a bobcat jersey.

Criticism ran rampant when Larry Brown was announced as the new head coach and even more when we traded Jason Rich Dudley and 2nd rd pick for Bell Diaw & Singletary...... where are those critics now?

Posted by: redhotdave | Aug 24, 2009 12:37:02 PM

It would be better to keep Bell and trade Felton considering that Iverson is a better version of Felton. Neither are true NBA point guards and Iverson is a better scorer.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 24, 2009 1:40:15 PM

Whats going on with Ray??, I thought he was the team captain

Posted by: James | Aug 24, 2009 3:00:33 PM

Bobcats need this deal IMO! Iverson provides much needed scoring during crunch time. Felton should be the odd man out. DJ is going to be our future PG anyway, so why not take the risk. It's a Win-Win for the franchise. We will have a Superstar player on the tailend of his career, but he's still an upgrade over Felton.

Posted by: Bobcats | Aug 24, 2009 10:51:36 PM

Bobcats need this deal to happen for many reasons! This deal will bring in more fans, which equals more revenue. Iverson will probably have the best silling Bobcat jersey in the history of the franchise, which equals more revenue. Iverson can give the team a much needed Go-To Scorer. This should help us win more games and a better change of making the playoffs, which equals more revenue. This team has complained about the money it's losing, well now is a chance to bring in a player that can bring in more revenue. It's a deal that helps the team on both sides. Better product on the court and more revenue! Iverson has always given 100% on the court. I didn't agree with the way he handled coming off the bench last year, but Brown should be able to maximize his talents.

Posted by: Bobcats | Aug 24, 2009 11:12:16 PM

sign iverson he's the best out there he just needes to prove it

Posted by: D-lee | Aug 25, 2009 12:56:38 AM


Posted by: kim | Aug 25, 2009 11:10:48 AM

Why dosent Allen Iversion just go to the Lakers and get a ring. They are inned of a point guard that can score in that second unit and he would get a damn ring in the process! Take that one year offer and then next year go start for a team and play out ya lousy career, but dude wants to be a focal point of a team, thats insane!!! Atleast get a ring first! And players that somewhat believe in you and want to pass you the ball...

Posted by: Skills | Aug 25, 2009 1:02:40 PM

Bring Iverson to Charlotte!! He would be the largest name to ever suit up for our city... and he has a lot of qualities this team is totaly missing. Make it happen already.

Posted by: T-Bro | Aug 25, 2009 6:46:36 PM

100% agree ehis murphy, his comment, remember sixers in finals, small line up ! center is mutumbo , rebound, defense, thats what LB going to do w chandler, WAIT FOR RETURN OF ALLEN IVERSON IT WILL BE A BLOCKBUSTER.

Posted by: rey | Aug 25, 2009 9:27:16 PM

No way can we afford to get rid of Raja! I mean seriously, did anybody watch the 2 Lakers games last year with Raja all over Kobe? We don't win those games, nor many others without Raja. Look how we fell apart after he went down against the Heat during the playoff push. I'm open-minded to signing AI, but not at the expense of Raja.

Posted by: Michael | Aug 25, 2009 10:49:29 PM

Iverson is an asset to any team??? I doubt that. He is purely an old, rude, not sharing, punk. Any pro player stays in court for 42mins and with more than 30 shots can easily provide that kind of record. A perfect game makes by five. Check the Denver with AI, before CB, yes, no problem in scoring. But, that is all.
I admit that Piston sucks. However, they played game with 4 against 6.

Posted by: jesse | Aug 25, 2009 11:09:22 PM

all yall need to shutup!

Posted by: philly | Aug 25, 2009 11:40:50 PM

Unfortunately DJ would be the odd man out. We need Raja Bell and Raymond Felton for the playoff run. When DJ is moved one of the big contracts will be moved with him (Nazr).

Posted by: Disclosure | Aug 26, 2009 9:26:55 AM

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