Despite re-signing the old one, the 76ers already have the answer at point guard.
It's Jrue Holiday - for this season and seasons to come.
But when they had the chance, the Sixers didn't go with the 19-year-old rookie - and it's understandable they were hesitant. They went instead with the 34-year-old Allen Iverson.
And in doing so, they created a traffic jam at point guard: Holiday, Iverson, and the quick-healing Lou Williams.
This morning, you can't help but note that re-signing Iverson looks slightly misguided. We were told Iverson was signed to bridge the eight-week gap created by Williams' broken jaw. We were told Williams would not play again until mid-to-end January.
Three weeks later, Williams is practicing. Sixers coach Eddie Jordan even called him a "blur" in practice. Williams' return to the lineup could come any day, likely on Dec. 26 at the Utah Jazz, but possibly as soon as Tuesday at the Washington Wizards.
Iverson, meanwhile, didn't make the trip to Boston and didn't play against the Celtics because of various injuries, most notably arthritis in his left knee. He's had that knee drained twice. He has a stress reaction in his right fibula. He has a contusion of the left shoulder.
In essence, he's crumbling like the president's approval rating.
Did we expect anything different? Iverson warned that too many minutes - and so far he's played 34.4 a game - would leave him just as it has.
So how's the Iverson solution unfolding?
All told, Iverson bridged a gap of five games, during which the Sixers finished 1-4. The lone victory was a drubbing of the Golden State Warriors, a game in which Iverson could have played or not played and the outcome would have been the same.
Now, Williams is expected back.
And we're left saying the same thing we said when Iverson's potential return was the talk of the town: Holiday and Williams - not Iverson - should be the Sixers' starting backcourt.
They're the future.
Forget Ty Lawson, the Denver Nuggets rookie point guard, the player on whom the Sixers passed in this latest NBA draft.
Holiday is better.
He's the guy you hope is on your team in a lunchtime pickup game: pass first, defend second, shoot third. He's the guy for whom you run the lanes harder, because you know if you're open, you're getting the ball.
Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski, two years into his tenure, isn't a fan favorite right now, but his selection of Holiday in the 2009 NBA draft shouldn't be the reason.
It's been a long month for the Sixers, filled with losing and more losing, but Holiday is some good news: If you aren't yet sold, watch closely.
His ability to put the ball where his teammates like it - always a lofted pass to Samuel Dalembert, a strong chest pass to Elton Brand, a timed alley-oop to Andre Iguodala - might be his top offensive trait. And considering the Sixers, right now, are lacking offensive cohesion, Holiday is a catalyst for more sharing of the basketball, just in time for this season of giving.
On Wednesday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Holiday ran a three-on-two break. He pushed the ball across half court and attacked near the left elbow, getting a defender to commit. Behind him, slicing in from the right wing, came center Marreese Speights, as high a flier as the Sixers' roster boasts.
How Holiday saw Speights, trailing so far behind, and coming so fast, is something you can't really understand, only appreciate. But Holiday switched the ball to his left hand and wrapped a quick-hit pass to Speights, who was in stride for a thunderous dunk.
Because of such plays, Holiday's teammates like playing with him. And they should.
Of course he'll still miss wide-open shots, over-dribble and get the ball stolen. He'll still force a pass somewhere it shouldn't go, and lose his man on defense.
But at least he's a 19-year-old doing those things.
So here we are, much sooner than expected, with a trio of talented guys creating a backup at guard.
Let's just hope it doesn't cause Holiday delays.
Inside the Sixers:
Read Kate Fagan's 76ers blog, Deep Sixer, at http://go.philly.com/sports.
Blog response of the week
Subject: Iverson, Williams aren't point guards
Posted by: sudalaal1 at 3:18 a.m. Friday.
OK . . . one more time for the cheap seats (if there is such a thing at NBA games anymore). IVERSON IS NOT AND NEVER HAS BEEN A PG. LW IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE A PG. They are diminutive SGs who can pass effectively. So . . . defensively they both need a big PG who defends well and can dish 5-6 times a game to be successful. In other words, once LW is healthy, the lineup should be Jrue/Ivey @ the point, LW/Iverson at the 2, AI2/Kapono @ the 3, TY/Speights/Brand @ the 4 and SD/Brand/Speights @ the 5 with starters listed first and subs dependent on matchups. And the only way this team wins consistently is if Jordan never again brings up the words Princeton offense, and he stresses a gambling defense and running to take advantage of the fact that everyone except JK and Brand are exceptional athletes.EndText