Videos: Top five trades in Denver Nuggets history
Number 3: November 3, 2008. Denver trades Allen Iverson to the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, Cheikh Samb.
The Allen Iverson experiment lives in some kind of basketball purgatory. It didn't put the team over the top, but neither did it make the Nuggets worse. It did make them inconsistent, however, and helped cement the team-of-head-cases perception around the league. The two ball-dominating scorers (Anthony and Iverson) had difficulty co-existing. Enter Billups, who was coming off an impressive handful of years with the Pistons; he led them to six consecutive Eastern Conference Finals appearances and a championship in 2004. Billups had proven himself to be a heady point guard capable of hitting big shots, playing dogged defense and being a good leader in the locker room.
To say moving from Iverson to Billups was an upgrade is a little misleading, but not much of an understatement. The Nuggets needed stability and veteran leadership, and Billups, with his championship pedigree (no doubt groomed by his years dominating as a CU Buff) was exactly the person for the job. During the 2008-09 season, Billups averaged 17.9 points, 6.4 assists and 1.2 steals per game in the regular season. In the playoffs, he bumped his scoring up to 20.6 points and made almost three treys per game. Iverson was a damn good player in his prime (he was MVP during the 2000-01 season, when he willed his seriously inferior team to the finals before losing to the Lakers juggernaut), but he wasn't the man for the job in Denver. Billups came in and took control, leading to one of the best finishes in Nuggets history.
Continue to count down the rest of the top five trades in Denver Nuggets history.