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News » Sixers now look likely to sign Iverson

Sixers now look likely to sign Iverson

Sixers now look likely to sign Iverson DALLAS - What once seemed ludicrous - Allen Iverson returning to the 76ers - now appears likely.

Yesterday afternoon in Dallas, a quartet of Sixers personnel met with Iverson; his agent, Leon Rose; and his personal manager, Gary Moore.

Sixers brass present at the two-hour meeting included coach Eddie Jordan, president and general manager Ed Stefanski, assistant general manager Tony DiLeo, and assistant coach Aaron McKie.

A source close to the situation said it was "just the beginning of the negotiation" but also expressed belief that it would end positively.

According to this source, the team is agreeable to a one-year deal with Iverson. The Sixers' payroll is below $69.92 million, the NBA's luxury-tax threshold, and the team could offer Iverson the minimum for a player with 10 seasons, $1.3 million, or even more.

The Sixers are in the middle of a four-game, weeklong road trip that continues tomorrow night against the Oklahoma City Thunder and concludes Saturday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

An hour after yesterday's meeting, Stefanski released a statement that no decision had been made. "At this time, both parties remain noncommittal regarding a final decision, and we will continue to discuss internally whether or not to pursue this course," Stefanski said.

Another source close to the team said that Iverson was "not yet" a Sixer - suggesting he would be in the future - and that the next step in the process would come today or, at the latest, tomorrow.

Before last night's 104-102 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Jordan said that the team "didn't want to do anything overnight" but that talking with Iverson was "intriguing."

"There's a lot of things to talk about," Jordan said of the meeting. "It was good. He'd bring an aggressive scoring mentality, a guy that could take over games even in this stage of his career. He's a guy that's been to the top, he's been to the finals, and he'd be an extra weapon for us."

On Nov. 16, the 34-year-old Iverson parted ways with the Memphis Grizzlies, for whom he played only three games.

The Sixers have said that Iverson is only one of a number of free-agent guards the team is considering as a replacement for starting point guard Lou Williams, who is sidelined for eight weeks with a broken jaw.

Before Sunday's loss to the San Antonio Spurs, Jordan said the organization had not planned a face-to-face meeting with the 10-time all-star. Apparently, something changed between Sunday night and yesterday afternoon.

In 2006, when the Sixers traded Iverson, their franchise player for 10-plus seasons, to the Denver Nuggets, Ed Snider's relationship with his star guard seemed frayed.

Yesterday, Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the team, said he would support whatever decision Stefanski made.

"While nothing has been decided, Ed Stefanski is the president and general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers , and I support him and his Basketball decisions," Snider said.

A source close to the organization said there was pressure on Stefanski from the top, from those looking to boost the team's attendance, currently the second-worst in the NBA.

That same source said that Stefanski was worried Iverson would hinder the growth of his younger players - particularly rookie point guard Jrue Holiday - and that the biggest barrier to the deal would have been a demand by Iverson for a two-year contract. He is not believed to have made such a demand.

Back in action. Sixers power forward Elton Brand returned to the court last night after missing the previous three games with soreness in his right hamstring. Brand did not start, but he checked into the game midway through the first quarter.

Brand scored 21 points in 24 minutes, 58 seconds.

Before the game, Jordan said that he would not be concerned with making sure Brand played tons of minutes, but that he would react according to how Brand played.

Starting lineup. For the second consecutive game, Jordan went with a starting lineup of Holiday, Willie Green, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Samuel Dalembert.

Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or kfagan@phillynews.com.

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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 1, 2009


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