Monday, September 7, 2009

Grizzlies Closing in on Iverson

Posted By on Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 10:31 AM

The Grizzlies are meeting with Allen Iverson today in an attempt to iron out a contract agreement, Iverson himself reported via his Twitter account last night:

I am looking forward to meeting the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies on tomorrow, along with his staff. I want to help them develop a winner.
about 14 hours ago from web

The Grizzlies have never seemed like Iverson's first choice — otherwise a deal likely would have been made long ago — but with the offseason winding down, the Grizzlies may be the only team left with serious interest in the former MVP and multi-time scoring champ. ESPN's Marc Stein elaborates:

Memphis is believed to be the only team actively pursuing the four-time scoring champion and has established its willingness to sign Iverson to a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

The Grizzlies, at Heisley's behest, have been trying to convince Iverson to join them since free agency began, ignoring concerns about the 34-year-old accepting a reserve role or his ability to co-exist in the same offense with O.J. Mayo, Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph because of Iverson's presumed ability to generate interest and sell tickets for a franchise that has languished in the shadow of John Calipari's Memphis Tigers.

Monday's scheduled sitdown would be the first face-to-face contact between Iverson and Grizzlies officials since the process began, with Memphis negotiating to this point primarily with Leon Rose, Iverson's agent.

Iverson has spent much of the past two months hoping that a firm offer would materialize from the Miami Heat, New York Knicks or Charlotte Bobcats — the latter to reunite with former coach Larry Brown — but was ultimately forced to concede that only the Grizzlies have the financial flexibility and definite interest to make a commitment to Iverson after his nightmarish 2008-09 season with the Detroit Pistons.

I'll have copious notes on this development A) once it actually happens, and B) after tomorrow's production on the Flyer's print edition.



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