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Report: 76ers Offer Iverson Contract

Dec 1, 2009 – 4:30 PM
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Matt Watson

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Allen IversonAs initially reported by and confirmed by the Associated Press, the Philadelphia 76ers have offered Allen Iverson a one-year contract. So why isn't the deal official? Apparently because Iverson is still mulling over the offer, a non-guaranteed contract worth the pro-rated veteran's minimum, or $1.4 million for a player with his experience.

According to Phil Jasner of the Philadelphia Daily News, the team isn't willing to guarantee the entire contract until they're convinced Iverson is fully committed to his return -- Iverson would have until Jan. 10, roughly six weeks from today, to prove himself.

On the surface, this seems perfectly reasonable, especially after the way Iverson flamed out in his last two NBA stops. But when you take a close look at why the Sixers are desperate to sign a guy like Iverson in the first place -- erstwhile starter Lou Williams is sidelined for up to two months with a broken jaw -- it's understandable why Iverson might balk.

Is the team simply looking for a six-week stopgap until Williams returns? (Or, a more sinister hypothetical, is the front office merely testing Iverson's box office appeal to see how much his presence will improve the team's pathetic home attendance numbers?)

Iverson and the Sixers have a lot of history together, but it remains to be seen if there's still enough trust between both sides for Iverson to believe that he'll get a fair shake to prove himself based solely on his play on the court and not factors beyond his control. Stay tuned.
Filed under: Sports