Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a message from Billy King

Billy King sent me an e-mail yesterday to tell me about the AI trade. Okay he didn't just send it to me, but all season ticket holders (who haven't opt'd out yet). Here's what Billy told me (unedited).

As a 76ers Season Ticket Holder, you are very important to us. We consider you a member of our family and we wanted to inform you first of our breaking news.

Shortly we will be issuing the following release:

The Philadelphia 76ers are announcing today that we have acquired guard Andre Miller, forward Joe Smith, and two first round draft picks in the 2007 NBA Draft from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Allen Iverson and forward Ivan McFarlin.

Playing in his eighth NBA season, Miller owns career averages of 14.1 points, 7.6 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.40 steals per game. This season the 6-foot-2, 200-pound point guard is averaging 13.0 points, 9.1 assists (3rd in NBA), 4.5 rebounds and 1.61 steals (9th in NBA) per game while shooting 47.2 percent overall (177-248 FG). A First Team NBA All-Rookie Team selection in 1999-00, Miller enjoyed one of his best seasons in 2001-02 while playing with Cleveland when he averaged a career-best 16.5 points and an NBA-leading 10.9 assists per game. Throughout his NBA career, he has played in 309-straight regular season games and only missed three games in eight seasons. In 15 playoff games, Miller has averaged 16.0 points, 5.2 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.

Miller was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round (8th overall) in the 1998 NBA Draft after a four-year collegiate career at the University of Utah, where he finished his career as the Utes all-time leader in steals (254) and assists (721). After three seasons with Cleveland (1999-02), Miller was traded to the L.A. Clippers along with Bryant Stith in exchange for Darius Miles and Harold Jamison on June 30, 2002, where he would play for the 2002-03 season. On Aug. 1, 2003, Miller signed with the Denver Nuggets (8/1/03) where he has played the last four seasons.

A 12-year NBA veteran, Joe Smith has averaged 12.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in 762 games (565 starts) with six NBA teams: Golden State (1995-98), Philadelphia (1997-98), Minnesota (1998-00, 2001-03), Detriot (2000-01), Milwaukee (2003-06) and Denver (2006-07). Smith returns to Philadelphia for his second stint with the 76ers. During the 1997-98, Smith appeared in 30 games with Philadelphia, averaging 10.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Smith enjoyed his best season in 1996-97, averaging 18.7 points and 8.5 rebounds in 80 games with the Warriors. Smith has advanced to the postseason six times, averaging 6.9 points and 5.1 rebounds in 26 playoff games.

Smith was originally drafted by the Warriors after his sophomore season at the University of Maryland with the first overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft and was named to the NBA's All-Rookie First Team the following season. After two-plus seasons with the Warriors, he was traded along with Brian Shaw to Philadelphia for Clarence Weatherspoon and Jim Jackson on Feb. 17, 1998. Following a 30-game stint with the Sixers, Smith signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent (1/22/99). On Nov. 20, 2000, Smith signed as a free agent with Detroit and prior to the 2001-02 season with the Timberwolves (7/30/01). After two seasons, Smith was traded by Minnesota along with Anthony Peeler to Milwaukee for Sam Cassell and Ervin Johnson on June 27, 2003. The Nuggets acquired Smith from the Bucks in exchange for Ruben Patterson on Aug. 10, 2006.

As we have said from the beginning, our primary goal has been to make the best deal possible for the future of the 76ers organization. I believe that this trade accomplishes that goal. We already have a strong core of young players including Andre Iguodala, Kyle Korver, Samuel Dalembert, Willie Green, Rodney Carney and Louis Williams. This trade not only gives us two established veterans and gives us financial flexibility for the future, but it also gives the Sixers two additional first round picks in the 2007 NBA Draft, projected to be one of the deepest drafts in years.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank Allen Iverson for all that he meant to the 76ers and the city of Philadelphia. AI is one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He has incredible talent and he will always be a part of the 76ers family. Allen will be missed, and we wish him and his family well.

We look forward to seeing you at the Wachovia Center as we continue to build on our solid foundation of talented youth. I am excited about our future.

If you have any questions or if there is anything that we can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact your customer service manager.

Again, thank you for your continued support. See you at the game!


Billy King

President, Philadelphia 76ers

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