The Allen Iverson sweepstakes reportedly were nearing a conclusion Tuesday, but where the All-Star will end up is still anybody's guess.
Boston? Minnesota? Denver? Indiana?
All have been mentioned as possible (and logical) destinations for Iverson.
Meanwhile, the rumor mill Monday was cranking out nearly as many new scenarios as Iverson has tattoos.
The hottest involved the Bobcats, who have enough room under the salary cap to absorb Iverson's $17.2 million salary without having to send back another big-money player in return. Charlotte needs a marquee player to put bodies in the seats, and new team co-owner Michael Jordan has always admired the little guard. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Bobcats and Sixers were close to a deal Monday, but Iverson nixed it because he doesn't want to play for the lowly Bobcats.
Why Iverson would have any say in the matter is a mystery, given that he is the one who requested a trade. We apparently won't know until the deal is completed, since Sixers GM Billy King is not returning phone calls.
At any rate, Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers also were in the Iverson mix as of Monday. The Warriors reportedly are dangling Jason Richardson (who has missed the last four games with a sore knee), as well as Adonal Foyle. The Clippers have Corey Maggette and perhaps could include Shaun Livingston. As one Eastern Conference executive said Monday, "[Clippers owner Donald Sterling] likes superstars."
Meanwhile, the Bulls reportedly have no interest in Iverson despite an erroneous report that they would offer a package involving Ben Gordon, Michael Sweetney and a draft pick. "I know we're not a team that's in there talking about it," coach Scott Skiles told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I haven't given it a whole lot of thought. Wherever he ends up, he ends up."
One Western Conference executive I spoke with Monday predicted Iverson would end up with the Nuggets. "They could offer Andre Miller, a draft pick and an expiring contract in Joe Smith," he said. "Plus, it enables [King] to trade him out of the conference."
All we know for sure is that it won't be easy to trade Iverson, even if he is one of the game's biggest stars and box-office attractions.
For one, Iverson is 31. That's a relatively advanced age for a point guard, especially one who is 6 feet and has been fearlessly driving to the hoop and getting banged around like a pinball the past 10 years.
Moreover, Iverson still has two years and $40 million remaining on his contract after this season. It means any team taking him now has to be willing to risk that he won't slow down and become a salary-cap albatross in 2008 and '09.