The Sixers are off to an interesting start. Their record of 3-10 is a bit mis-leading. They've been pretty competitive in each of their games. Unfortunately, 3rd quarter collapes and the last 5 minutes of games are what keep the Sixers from going to the next level. But, they are a young team trying to gel. Everybody needs to go through their growing pains.
But the title of this post is referring to Andre Iguodala. The record that the team has, has trade rumors and talks about who the team should pick in the next draft. So the question is, should the Sixers cut their losses and trade Iguodala? The answer, I do not know. But, let's look at the two options for the Sixers to take.
Now before I do that, we need to figure out what kind of player Iguodala is. But, let me say that I will not bring his contract into this. People are mad at him because of the contract. Answer this question honestly though: Would you turn down that contract? Yeah, I didn't think so. The blame should go on the front office.
I've been watching him since his rookie season, as I've been following the team since 2000-2001 season. But I didn't think much of him until the Rookie-Sophomore game in his sophomore year in 2006. He won the MVP for that game. His stats: 30 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals with 0 turnovers. That's the all around play that we need to see from him. Except the points, he's been playing that way ever since.
At this point in time, any smart basketball fan knows that Iguodala is a super player. He can rebound, defend, pass, get to the rim (sometimes at will) and has a nice mid-range jumper. As you saw his stats from the rookie game, he is a valuable asset to any team. Many fans are down on him because of his lack of scoring ability. I was one of them but I realize that a lot of players can't do what Iguodala does. He knows he's not going to hit the jumper all the time so he finds other ways to contribute. I almost prefer him instead of Carmelo Anthony because all Anthony does is score. Now I have to admit, he scores very well and Iguodala would be a nice complimentary player but that's not possible right now. The problem that Iguodala has is that he has been given the role of Super Star. He's just a star. You need someone to be the Super-Star. Allen Iverson could have been that star but things didn't work out that way. In fact, I think Iverson and Iguodala would have been a decent duo on the court if Iguodala would be more aggressive in his game. I think he, along with a lot of other players, gave the ball to Iverson and let Iverson do what Iverson does.
Bottom line is, either trade Iguodala and start another rebuilding process around Evan Turner, or find a way to trade Elton Brand and a couple other pieces for the super-star the team needs. The first option is more likely since the team has nothing to offer in a trade to bring anybody in.
This is the better option, in my opinion. Trade Iguodala for some young assets or expiring contracts and future draft picks. If Iguodala is traded, the target asset in return would have to be a big. Brand has been playing well this season but he's just not going to be a major player when this team is back on the map of good teams. There was a time I thought Marrese Speights could be the future big for the team but that's not going to work out. We're still figuring out if Spencer Hawes is the center of the future. I'm still willing to give him time to shine.
I used the ESPN Trade Machine to look at a few trade scenarios the Sixers could try. I've never used it before but I can see how some people would be addicted to it. Most of the stuff I did was wishful thinking. In fact, the three that I picked to show you would probably never happen. But they're there to give ideas as to what deal could be done. Here are three results that I liked:
1. Iguodala for Pietrus and Gortat of the Magic.
Pietrus is an expiring contract and Gortat has shown his dis-interest in playing behind Dwight Howard. The Magic would probably not go for this because they're over the cap by a lot. Unless they felt Iguodala is the final piece, this trade is dead. I still like it for the Sixers though. A lineup of Holiday, Turner, Nocioni, Brand, and Gortat would be an interesting defensive unit. I was impressed when the Sixers faced Gortat in the playoffs. This trade is my favorite.
2. Iguodala and Young for Curry and Turiaf of the Knicks.
Yeah, so this is definitely for financial stability. The trade would only work because then Stodimire would have a perimeter partner. He's no Carmelo Anthony, but Iguodala should fit into the Knicks system. Curry and Turiaf are both expiring contracts. Plus, I like Turiaf. He's an energy guy that the Sixers could keep for a couple of years. They would be giving up Young though. That's probably the huge negative for the Sixers in this trade and why it may not happen. Yet, I feel this is the most likely trade to happen.
3. Iguodala for Richardson of the Suns.
Richardson is an expiring contract. That's the only thing going for the Sixers.
The reason why he wouldn't be traded is because the front office wants equal talent in return. But, that's not really possible. If you're going to trade Iguodala, it has to be because you're going to rebuild the team. The team is in trouble even if Iguodala is gone because Brand's contract is big enough to only give the Sixers a bit of cap room. The thing is, with next season not promised, the Sixers could unload Brand this season. He's got two seasons left on his contract and next season, who knows? The season after that, he's an expiring contract. In a sense, he only has two years on his contract instead of three because of the CBA situation. Another reason Iguodala is not traded is because of the team betting on the Turner, Iguodala combo to work out.
So the biggest reason why they would keep him is because they can't or won't make a deal. But management may believe that the Turner-Iguodala combo can work over time. Either way, the team could be hurting the rebuilding process. The team would not be willing to suck up a loss. There is no way the Sixers will get equal talent back trading Iguodala. They want to stay competitive but the best thing to do if trading him is getting young talent and a couple of picks. I don't think the team is willing to do this. So the Sixers will just keep him and try to grab a superstar or hope that Turner is that superstar. There's no way thay can get a superstar in a trade unless the star himself wants out of his current team. Otherwise, they could try to wait for Brand to expire, but even then, the Sixers wouldn't have the room to sign anybody.
The strategy of building up from the draft is very risky. Only once in a while do you land a superstar straight from draft night. I don't think that the team has any other option though. Not many people want the players that the Sixers have or the Sixers may not want to trade anybody away. They can't sign anybody that is good enough for the average 8-9 man rotation. In fact, since the Brand signing, they've only been signing out bench warmers to fill up the roster like Donyell Marshal, Theo Ratliff (his second stint), and Rodney Carney (his second stint) because they don't have the money for anybody.
Time to decide. I think that the Sixers should trade him and start over (again) and when Brand expires, they'll have money to work with. Of course, the money may be spent re-signing Jrue Holiday and Turner and who ever else they decide to keep.
What should the Sixers do with Andre Iguodala?