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Possible Trade?!

Kings may be involved in Iverson talks
They're on the short list of teams discussing options.
By Sam Amick - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PST Monday, December 11, 2006
Story appeared in SPORTS section, Page C5

The hot topic in the NBA this weekend was the demand of Philadelphia 76ers guard Allen Iverson to be traded.

The Kings appear to be part of that conversation.

Since Friday, the Kings have been added to the short list of teams that are said to be -- according to various reports -- discussing trade options with the 76ers. On Sunday, a league source confirmed to The Bee that the Kings are involved, though it is not known whether they are pursuing Iverson or perhaps part of a deal involving more than two teams, or what they are offering.

The source declined to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the deal.

At the Kings' game against Atlanta on Sunday, Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie would not say if he was in discussions involving Iverson.

"As a matter of rule, we do not discuss possible trades," he said.

Kings co-owners Joe and Gavin Maloof were also tight-lipped, even beyond the question of whether they're pursuing Iverson.

"Talk to Geoff, because I don't know," Joe Maloof said by phone.

Gavin Maloof paused before answering.

"Hmmm," he said. "You're going to have to ask Geoff."

Asked if he was a fan of Iverson's game, Gavin wouldn't comment.

"Well, I don't want to say, I don't want to say," Gavin said. "Check with Geoff."

Kings swingman John Salmons, a teammate of Iverson last season, was shocked by the news of Iverson's demands -- and owner Ed Snider's approval to pursue a deal.

"Just having been in that situation, I wanted to know what was going on," Salmons said. "I was surprised that he said it, that he actually said it."

If the Kings were, in fact, trying to land Iverson in Sacramento, the most obvious deal would likely involve the swapping of point guards. Kings point guard Mike Bibby -- who has an early termination option on his contract that would allow him to become a free agent after this season despite two seasons being left on his deal -- is owed $12.5 million for this season. Including the $18.2 million Iverson will make this season, his deal has three seasons and approximately $59 million remaining.

The Kings would have to add a piece or two to make the deal work, as the players' salaries in a trade must be within 125 percent of each other. They also have five players with expiring contracts that could be attractive to Philadelphia, allowing them to clear up salary cap space for next season: Corliss Williamson, Jason Hart, Vitaly Potapenko, Ronnie Price and Maurice Taylor.

The Kings also have a glut of younger players with promise to offer, from the seemingly untouchable Kevin Martin ($1 million this season) to second-year swingman Francisco García (approximately $1.1 million) and rookie Quincy Douby ($1.2 million).

The interesting subplot would be in the history between Iverson and two of the current Kings players. Formers 76ers Kenny Thomas and Salmons were both relieved to leave Philadelphia and have often spoken of the difficulties that come with playing with an offensive star who dominates both the opposition and the ball.

Salmons, in fact, was hired partly on the basis of how well he produced for the 76ers when Iverson wasn't on the floor, with Petrie saying when he signed him that Salmons showed his true potential then.

"It is what it is," Salmons said. "If he ended up here, I'd play with him. I'd welcome him in."

Kings small forward Ron Artest, whose trade demands from Indiana a year ago led to his Sacramento stop, said he was more concerned with the current crop than whether Iverson would work with the Kings.

"We had a nice little (run) last year. Had a chance to win a lot of games, do a lot of damage, and just need to build on that this year," Artest said.

If it's all true...any thoughts?
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