Bench may be biggest hurdle in Iverson-to-Clips deal
By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst
Posted Jul 14 2009 6:58AM
LAS VEGAS -- Yes, the Los Angeles Clippers are having talks with Allen Iverson. But a signing does not appear imminent, because Iverson is still chafing at the idea of coming off the bench.
Sources confirmed the Los Angeles Times' report that the team has offered Iverson a one-year deal at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million for next season. But, those sources said, Iverson remains reluctant to take a reserve role, which would be behind incumbent Baron Davis at the point or Eric Gordon at the two, just as he chafed in Detroit this past season playing behind Rip Hamilton. Even though Iverson would like to play in a big city, or, at the least, for a contending team, he's given no indication yet that he'd be any more willing to be a bench player in Los Angeles than he would be elsewhere.
One source with knowledge of the team's intentions said that Iverson was not the only player the Clippers were approaching. They also spoke with representatives for Milwaukee guard Ramon Sessions, as well as Indiana's Jarrett Jack, before Jack signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Raptors, in their pursuit of a backup point. Another source said that Coach Mike Dunleavy needed some assurances from Iverson's camp that he could accept a reserve role before getting completely behind the pursuit of Iverson.
In the interim, Iverson is still being pursued by Miami, Memphis and Charlotte.
However, the Clippers do remain a strong possibility for Iverson. Los Angeles could provide all kinds of ancillary income opportunities for Iverson. And the Clippers could have significant room under the cap after this season, which would give Iverson a chance to recoup some income if he were to accept the one-year offer at the mid-level.