Feb 21, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay (22) talks to Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala (9) during the game at the FedEx Forum. Memphis defeated Philadelphia 89-76. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE
There's yet to be an official rumor, but a Rudy Gay for Andre Iguodala swap has been tossed around the internet for a while now. Here's what Chris Broussard, of ESPN, had to say about the hypothetical deal:
The 76ers are looking to move Iguodala. They believe youngsters Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner won't grow to reach their potential as long as Iguodala is there. They have offered him to the Grizzlies for Gay once before but were turned down.
For Philadelphia, Gay would become the go-to scorer the Sixers desperately need. A perimeter trio of Holiday, Turner and Gay would be very strong and vault the Sixers to another level.
Although fans tend to agree with Broussard's premise, it's incorrect, on a couple levels.
If the belief is that Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner won't reach their potential with Iguodala, what makes anyone think things will change for the better with Rudy Gay? The biggest issue with the trio of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala is, there's not enough shots and dribbles to go around. So, how would trading Iguodala (usage rate of 17.7) for Rudy Gay (25.1 usage rate) help, in that regard?
And the Sixers don't necessarily need a "go-to scorer". They need a superstar, who happens to score a lot – there's a difference. Louis Williams has been a "go-to scorer" at times – same with Jrue Holiday. Heck, even Andre Iguodala was considered a "go-to scorer" at one point. The problem is, none of those guys are superstars. Gay falls in the same category.
It's easy to compare the scoring totals of Iguodala and Gay and say, "Gay scores 19 points per game, while Iguodala only scores 12 – instant upgrade!" But, while Iguodala scores nearly seven points less than Gay, he does so more efficiently. In 2012, Iguodala's recorded true shooting percentage of .537 (Gay's was .521), and effective field goal percentage of .514 (Gay's was .480).
The obvious counter is "Iguodala is more efficient because he takes less, lower degree of difficulty shots." That is correct, but let's not forget the seasons Iguodala had from 2006-2009, when he became the Sixers "go-to scorer", by default.
In 2007, Iguodala averaged 19.9 points per game for the Sixers. His true shooting percentage was .543, paired with an effective field goal percentage of .495. '07 Iguodala scored more points than '12 Gay, and did so with more efficiency. The following summer, Iguodala was rewarded with a fat contract, and we all know how that panned out.
Just because Gay scores 19+ points per game, and dubbed a "go-to scorer" by many doesn't mean he's an upgrade over Andre Iguodala – he's actually the opposite. Not only is he a worse fit with Jrue and Evan, but he's a drastic downgrade on defense. He's also nowhere near the passer Iguodala is.
Let's hope Doug Collins and Rod Thorn don't listen to guys like Broussard, because swapping these two players would be an instant downgrade for the Sixers, on so many levels. If Sixers fans think Iguodala is overpaid, I can't imagine what they'd think of Rudy Gay.
Plus, Rudy Gay hasn't even made an All-Star game!