As you all know, pending a medical examination, AI will be joining the boys of MoTown in a return to the Eastern Conference. Chauncey Billups has been dangled since the off-season and is the key piece heading to Denver along with big men Antonio McDyess and Cheikh Samb.
Some instant analysis from this trade:
* On its face, Denver is the winner and beefs up a thin frontline.
* When examined closer, Detroit acquires an expiring contract of a fading star and ships that of Billups (signed until 2010-11 with a team option the next year) and McDyess (signed until 2010). Cheikh Samb may have just been a salary leveller. Detroit basically announced that it will be a major player in the free agency market of Summer 2010. This cannot be understated.
* The Melo/AI project did not work.
* Denver wants more PT for the volatile JR Smith.
* Detroit lacks a true starting point guard (sorry guys, Rodney Stuckey and AI are not point guards) and have three starters worthy of playing the two. If you are not Clement (who hates Arron Afflalo), then they may have four.
* AI is playing for a contract or a championship, and not with Detroit. Don't be shocked if he gets traded again.