Tracy McGrady for Allen Iverson?

By Joe Booker
Updated: July 26, 2006

* TEXAS —The Philadelphia 76ers have had their star guard Allen Iverson on the trading blocks for awhile. Billy King, the 76ers GM has gotten offers, but none measured up to the talent of Iverson. King has said he would not trade Iverson for players of lesser value.

Would King change his mind and make a deal with the Rockets for Tracy McGrady– knowing McGrady has a back issue? I know 76ers� GM Billy King said he’s taken Iverson off the trading block. But b efore you think I have gone off the deep end, look at the facts.

Yes, Iverson is 31 and McGrady is 27. Iverson has the body and energy of a 17-year old. He can run all night and some more. He’s almost unstoppable in open court. No one is better one-on-one than Iverson.

Also, Iverson is an outstanding ball handler. He’s so quick that no one can keep up with him one-on-one. On defense, he’s so quick that he could steal an opponent�s back pocket.

I know, I know, his shooting percentage is poor, but he goes to the free throw line more often than anyone in the NBA. He’s a scorer�not a shooter. Iverson seldom misses games and brings his A-Game every night. He missed only 10 games last season and has played hurt.

A winner

Prior to Iverson�s arrival, the 76ers had not been to the playoffs since 1983�that�s 12-years before Iverson. Iverson has been a one-man show as he has led the 7ers to the playoffs six years.

He took the team to the finals in 2005, before losing to the Shaq and Kobe-led Lakers. He has not had the helpof a Shaquille O�Neal, Ben Wallace or Yao Ming. He had to shoot as often as he does, because no one else shoots that good.

Iverson does not fit Rockets style of play

Iverson has a unique ability to make plays. Not only does he lead the team in scoring, he leads in assists. Iverson and Yao Ming would give the Rockets a consistent inside, outside threat.

However, one of the biggest problems is Iverson is a transition player. He likes to run. Rockets� Coach Jeff Van Gundy likes for his players to travel at a snail�s pace. It just wouldn�t work in Houston for Iverson with Van Gundy at the helm.

Other Problems?

Iverson has had his share of off the court problems. He even complained about practice. Even though he’s had off the court problems, they haven’t affected his performances on the court. When the clock starts, he leaves those problems at home. No one has ever accused him of not playing hard the entire game.


When healthy, Tracy McGrady is one of the elite players in the league. However, you’ll never know when McGrady�s back will go out on him. Without McGrady, the Rockets are not a playoff team.

It is rumored– and the rumor came from good source — that one of the reasons the Rockets traded Mike James is because James and McGrady had some problems playing together. McGrady felt James was not giving him the ball enough.

T-Mack Vs. The Answer

(By the numbers, Last two seasons)

2004-2005 Season

Gms PPG. FG% FT% 3-pt % APG

McGrady 78 25.7 43.1 77.4 32.6 5.7

Iverson 75 30.7 42.4 83.5 30.8 8.0

2005-2006 Season

McGrady 47 24.4 40.6 74.7 31.2 4.8

Iverson 72 33.0 44.7 81.4 34.7 7.4

When you look at individual statistics and what each has done for his team, Iverson has been a better player. Iverson has led his team to 6 straight playoffs without the help of a good center.

Iverson has been criticized for his poor shooting percentage; you will find very little difference between their shooting percentages. McGrady has led his team to one playoff.