I totally agree that the Clippers made a huge mistake in not trading for Allen Iverson. Having a guy like Iverson drawing attention from opposing teams would make the jobs of Brand, Cassell, Thomas, Kaman, and Mobley so much easier. There are many reasons why the Clippers blew it when it comes to Allen Iverson.
1) The price was right!
Trading Livingston and Maggette would not have been too much to get a proven All-Star player who has shown no signs of slowing down. If Livingston's potential won basketball games, the Clippers would be undefeated. So far, Livingston hasn't shown me anything. Yeah, a flash here and a flash there, but this is his third year in the league! I don't care that he was drafted out of high school or that he's had a few injuries in his first couple of years. He's had enough games under his belt to show without a doubt that he's going to a great player, and I don't see that in him. A lot of people like him because of his height. Penny Hardaway was another point guard who had height and a lot of potential and turned out to be just another good player. Unfortunately, that's about all I see Livingston turning out to be...a Penny Hardaway type player. A good player but not a once in a lifetime player like Iverson.
A lot of people like Maggette (me included) but some people overate him. He's on the trading block at the moment and take a look at what teams are offering for him. Guys like Brent Barry and James Posey?? NBA teams do their homework and know what players are worth. Yyes, teams are trying to lowball the Clippers at the moment, but I don't think the names of players are going to get that much better. Remember, the Clippers only made the playoffs once during Corey's Clipper career and that was the year that he missed more than half the season. Maybe this wasn't a coincidence. He could have been packaged with Livingston and gotten a great player.
In addition, with the package of Maggette and Livingston, the Clippers may have been able to avoid throwing in their two first round picks. These two picks, in addition to the rights to the Greek center and Diaz from prior drafts, would have given the Clippers young players with potential to go with the proven veterans they have.
2) The Clippers need to think "short-term"!
After last season, the Clippers were getting attention from the media and fans. There was excitement and the Clippers were being talked about as darkhorse championship contenders going into this season. However, the Clippers are now the league's biggest dissapointment. Some say that we have to give the young players on this team (Livingston and Kaman) the chance to grow. The bad news is Elton Brand is only signed for two and a half more seasons. If the Clippers don't show him that they can compete for a championship during that time, is he going to re-sign with them? Elton is a great guy, but thinking he'll resign with a bad team is highly optimistic. The Clippers need to produce on the court and give Brand, and future free agents, a reason to want to play for this team.
3) Iverson will prove people wrong!
Many people don't like Iverson because of his off court behavior and personality. But he plays his butt off on the court. Some say he's selfish, but Philly never put enough players around him to make him willing to share the ball. His second option during his Philly days were guys like Jerry Stackhouse (when he was too young to be much help), Chris Webber (when he was too old to be much help), Toni Kukoc, Keith Van Horn, and Derrick Coleman. Do any of these guys instill fear in an opposing team? When the Nuggets get back to full strength, Iverson is going to show what he can do with good players surrounding him.
4) The Clippers are terrible drafters!
Quick, name a Clipper draft choice that has turned into a NBA star. You can't do it because there are none. Guys like Lamar Odom and Danny Manning are good NBA players, but that's it - good. The Clippers have drafted guys more like Bo Kimble, Terry Dehere, Reggie William, and Yaroslav Korolev. The Clippers best players have been aquired in trades. Mark Jackson, Ron Harper, and current players Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, and Sam Cassell, were all aquired in trades. I would take a sure thing like Iverson over waiting to see if a Clipper draft choice finally makes it to NBA star level.
I was extremely dissapointed when I turned on the computer and saw that Iverson was going to Denver. The Clippers had a chance to do something big and get someone who could have moved them into an elite team in the league. Instead, they chose to stand pat and talk about their potential...the same "potential" that the team and fans have been talking about for so long. The kind of talk that made many people say, "Yep, they teased us last year but they are just the same old Clippers."