Iverson's debut likely vs. Raptors

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

The Answer is back in the East and the first team that gets to deal with him is your Raptors.

In a surprising move that caught many off guard yesterday, the Detroit Pistons, who arrive here tomorrow for a 7 p.m. tipoff with the Raptors, pulled the trigger on a trade that will send Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb to Denver for Allen (the Answer) Iverson.

Even at the age of 33, Iverson is a threat to go off on any night.

Through three games with Denver, Iverson was averaging 18.7 points and 6.7 assists a night. He had been in the Western Conference for less than two years after a trade from Philadelphia in December of 2006.

Mitchell, who learned of the trade just before the end of Raptors practice yesterday, wasn't sure what to make of the deal.

From a Raptors perspective it initially could be a bit of a break, but Mitchell wasn't about to provide any bulletin-board material.

"Yeah it makes it difficult, but again (Iverson's) only got one day to get acclimated to his new team," Mitchell said. "How are they going to play him? How are they going to use him? We have no idea.

"All we can assume is they are going to run the stuff that they run (on a regular basis).

Mitchell wasn't even sure if Iverson would start for the Pistons with point guard of the future Rodney Stuckey already well versed in the Pistons offence.

"That is the thing," Mitchell said. "Do you start Stuckey or do you start AI? I would assume early you start Stuckey because he's been there but that's just me thinking. Again, I'm not Mike (Curry, the Pistons head coach). I don't have that decision to make."

One thing Mitchell was sure about was the Raptors were not going to see anything they have not seen from the Pistons before.

NOTHING NEW

"I don't think Mike is going to design a whole new offence for AI" Mitchell said.

Mitchell, though, wasn't about to predict any kind of advantage for the Raptors, even with Iverson being unfamiliar with the Pistons offence.

"I don't know, man," Mitchell said. "You're talking about a guy who can go out and get 50 (points).

"Then there's Chauncy, who would not get 50 just for the simple fact that his nickname is Mr. Big Shot. He picks and chooses where he scores. Allen will score in bunches but Chauncey will run the team more, pick and choose when to shoot and make sure guys get involved."

Two totally different players. For Mitchell, a pick your poison kind of proposition.


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