The Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets have consumated a blockbuster trade as the Pistons have acquired Allen Iverson from the Nuggets in exchange for guard Chauncey Billups, forward Antonio McDyess and centre Cheikh Samb.
Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars confirmed the trade on the Pistons website.
"We are pleased to welcome Allen Iverson to the Pistons organization," Dumars stated. "Allen has proven he is one of the elite players in the league and we like what he adds to our roster at the guard position.
"We appreciate everything that Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb brought to the organization during their time here in Detroit and we certainly wish them all the best."
The trade gives the former NBA MVP a shot at a return to the NBA Finals, something that he likely would not have had with the Pistons.
"He was very excited about the trade," Iverson's agent Leon Rose told The Associated Press.
The Pistons, who captured the NBA championship in 2004 have reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the past six seasons.
A nine-time All-Star, Iverson is in the final year of a contract that pays him $20.8 million this season while Billups is signed through 2011 and is currently earning $11 million. McDyess is making $6.9 million this season and has one more year remaining on his contract. Samb is on a one-year contract and is earning just under $800,000 this season.
A four-time NBA scoring champion, Iverson is averaging 18.7 points through three games this season, nearly 10 points below his career average.
Billups, who was born in Denver and played his college ball with the Colorado Buffaloes, is reportedly interested in continuing his career in his home state. The 2004 NBA finals MVP averaged 17.0 points and 6.8 assists last season with Detroit.
Ironically the Pistons face the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night, a team coached by Larry Brown who led Billups and the Pistons to the NBA Championship in 2004. He also coached Iverson to a berth in the NBA finals in 2001 with the Philadelphia 76ers.
''Trading Marilyn Monroe for Jane Russell. That's not bad,'' Brown said. ''Joe knows what he's doing, and I'm happy Chauncey's going back to Denver and his family is there.''
The Pistons face the Nuggets for the first time on January 9th in Denver.