Destination Memphis?: Iverson interested in Griz

Ronald Tillery

Several NBA sources have confirmed to me that controversial and wildly popular guard Allen Iverson – through representatives – has made the Grizzlies aware that he would like to play in Memphis.The veteran, prolific scorer is a free agent for the first time in his professional career. While no deal is imminent and conversations have been only cursory, Griz brass are said to be internally weighing the pros and cons of possibly adding Iverson to the team’s youth movement.

Iverson would certainly have to take a major pay cut from the $21 million he earned last season with Detroit. The Griz would only entertain Iverson with what they’d deem a reasonable price, and if the 34-year-old agreed to play off the bench.

But Iverson had a problem being a reserve with the playoff-bound Pistons and even said he’d prefer to retire before becoming a bench player. A somewhat mysterious back injury ended Iverson’s season April 3.

The obvious risk is that Iverson would be far too disruptive WHEN he doesn’t practice or receive the playing time or role he desires. Iverson, a 13-year veteran, has no apparent home or suitors so perhaps his tune has changed.

Who knows?

The Griz still need more scoring punch and a reliable ball-handler in the backcourt in the wake of their agreed upon trade for power forward Zach Randolph. Memphis will send swingman Quentin Richardson to the Los Angeles Clippers in that deal.

Iverson’s scoring ability and mass appeal (he’s always been a sellout draw in Memphis) are indisputable. He played in 57 games for the Pistons and averaged 17.4 points and 4.9 assists.

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