Iverson was inactive for six straight games and sent home with pay after his relationship with the Sixers organization and coach Maurice Cheeks deteriorated. He asked to be traded nearly two weeks ago and Philadelphia granted that request on Tuesday, sending the former NBA MVP and Ivan McFarlin to Denver for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round picks.
Iverson averaged 28.1 points, 6.1 assists and 2.3 steals in 11 seasons for the 76ers. He was a seven-time All-Star and four-time scoring champion with Philadelphia, which selected him with the No. 1 overall pick in 1996.
“This team was built around Allen and he helped carry us for a long time,” Sixers team president Billy King said. “I think now we need to step back and evaluate with different players, with different personnel. With the cap room and draft picks, it’ll give us a chance to rebuild again.”
It’s unclear if Miller or Smith will be available as Philadelphia tries to end its longest losing streak since dropping 13 in a row from Dec. 28, 1996-Jan. 20, 1997.
The 76ers’ most recent loss was a 103-98 defeat at San Antonio on Saturday. Andre Iguodala scored a career high-tying 27 points for the second time in four games for Philadelphia (5-18), which also was without forward Chris Webber.
Webber has missed the last two games with a sprained right ankle and will be a game-time decision on Wednesday. Despite his injury and the Iverson distraction, Cheeks is pleased with the way the Sixers have been playing.
“I know I keep saying the same thing,” he said. “We’re playing with the grit and the scrappiness, but it’s unfortunate we’re not finishing the games. If we continue to play the way we’ve been playing, we’ll be fine.”
The Sixers, who won their first three games this season before dropping 16 of 18, own the worst record in the NBA and are just 3-6 at home.
“Every day is a new day. That is the way you have to look at it,” forward Kyle Korver said. “Things aren’t going so well right now for us, but we can’t be hanging our heads now—we’ve got a lot of season left. We have to keep on fighting and trying to get better every day.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys who are going to have to mature quickly.”
The Pacers (13-13) lost for the third time in five games Sunday, falling 104-94 to Utah. Jermaine O’Neal had a season-high 31 points and nine rebounds, ending a string of seven straight double-doubles, and Indiana shot just 36.5 percent.
“We took a step back,” said coach Rick Carlisle, whose team travels to Atlanta on Friday. “The next couple of games will tell a lot. We go back on the road against teams that don’t have great records, but play hard.”
Indiana has won three straight against Philadelphia and handed the Sixers their first loss of the season, 97-86 on Nov. 7.