This seems to come up from someone in almost every thread, so let's talk about it, openly and notoriously, as people in my line o'work like to say.
I like Andre Iguodala. He's clearly the best player on the roster right now. The only proven NBA-caliber commodity on the entire team. I personally don't think his contract is at all out of line in terms of his production, even though it's both pricey and long in terms of absolute dollars and years.
This is clearly a team going nowhere fast. There might not be enough talent on the roster to defeat one of your better D-League teams in a best of 7. And that leads to another problem. Given the cap situation and the grotesque lack of talent, there is no easy way for this team to dig its way out of also-ran-dom. Even if there somehow were money, which there will not be anytime soon thanks to your good friend and mine, Elton Brand, no decent free agent would consider coming to Philly, with the crappy roster, screwy front office, and obnoxious fans. So there's not going to be any instant get-well-soon happening here.
Like they say in the therapy world, sometimes you have to hit bottom before you can begin to get better. And for the Sixers, hitting bottom means sucking in the way only they can suck.
So what do they do?
As I've alluded to earlier in this rant, I believe it is time for us to say goodbye to Andre Iguodala. And it's not his fault. He's a terrific player, and I thoroughly enjoy watching him play. But he is the only player on the roster with both a large enough contract and enough talent to get a decent haul of future value and cap relief. Basically, who else would anyone want? Besides Jrue. They can't have Jrue. I don't let.
Given that Iguodala is the only valuable trade asset on the Sixers roster, how much value do we think he could bring in return? And what do they do once he's gone?
The second question is more easily answered than the first. The lineup would look something like this (at least if I were in charge of putting it together):
SG: Jodiac Killer
PF: Um, Brand? Speights? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Fry? Fry?
C: I guess Hawes, or a bag of Doritos. Take your pick.
This is a really bad team. But.
Let's flash forward to Our Favorite Year, 2013. There's basically no one left on the roster except for Jrue and Turner (and probably 3 Top-5 draft picks, but I'm not going there right now). There is an infrastructure in place. You have Jrue (let's say he's 80% of Deron Williams), Meeks (if he develops, maybe 65% of Ray Allen) , Turner (maybe 75% of Brandon Roy), and let's say Thad off the bench (60% of Rashard Lewis, which would be fine for a 6th man). This is a base people might actually want to play with (and a really nice defensive base on the wings). Suddenly flush with cap space, they become the New Heat, signing both superstar C DeMarcus Cousins and superstar PF Derrick Favors (or Hassan Whiteside, or whoever along those lines), thus making Ricko's head explode with orgasmic delight.
Plus, there are three Top 5-7 picks (not including Turner), at least one and possibly all three of whom can play, and play well, so they might not have to depend on, say, Meeks developing into a poor man's Ray Allen (which I think he could, at the high end), or possibly not have to get both a superstar C and a superstar PF, but only have to break the bank on one of them.
Plus, they have to get something for Iguodala. Picks plus cap relief for sure, maybe some high-upside young prospect. So, assuming this trade were going to happen, how much would you ask for?
I am a big fan of Andre's, but trading him could possibly be the key to contention down the road. Unless, of course, someone wants to take Brand off their hands cheap :)