It was a fact after the fact. I think Bg/Rip would have worked out better than AI/Rip in the long run. Sure, you can look back now, and of course they are facts. Logically, a backcourt of Stuck/Rip/BG is going to work out better than AI/Stuck/Rip if for no other reason than AI's personality.
Second, the deal on the table was CB. I'm sure if Denver had offered AI for Sheed, the pistons would have taken it. AI for Rip and some other players, they'd probably taken it. But the deal was for CB, McDyess (who came back) and Samb Cheick. . . . or whatever his name was.
There was a bunch going back and forth with Denver for Melo. And I'm sure other players were involved. but the deal got done with CB.
Again, we would have been better with CB in 2009 and 2010, I don't dispute that. But we wouldn't have won a chip. Boston was better than us that year, because they kicked our arse in 2008. In 2009, they lost to the Lakers, who we would have lost to also.
So, it's like that Barron's commercial. When you sell a stock at the price you do, you're just as convinced the price is going down as is the guy who thinks the price is going to go up. . . . because that's the price you settled on.
Likewise, the price settled on was CB, McDyess, Samb and we thought going forward we would be better just as much as the Nuggets thought getting rid of AI would be for them and getting CB.
And, what did CB do, except for that one year in Denver? Not much. He averaged less assists than in Det, and Denver was a running team, he had a great playoff run that first year, but after that?
We don't know what Joe D had on the table. We have to assume, and heck, he's only in the HOF, been president for 12 years, an nba finals MVP. . . but yeah, he don't know squat about picking between several trade offers (assuming there was more than 1).