Though Andre Iguodala is about a week into the 2 weeks off the doctors have given him to recover from his achilles tendinitis, he's not hurt badly enough to worry a potential suitor. Caron Butler, however, is. According to the Dallas Morning News, Butler has "at least a partial tear of the patella tendon in his right knee" and was evaluated last night by a team physician. It looks like he'll be out until at least March and possibly the remainder of the season.
With Shawn Marion nursing a thigh contusion and Dirk Nowitzki limping around on his right knee, the second-best team in the West needs some help. How badly? Well, they just gave Brian Cardinal and DeShawn Stevenson a combined 62 minutes on New Year's Day against the Bucks. Naturally, they lost. To make up for the Butler injury, they just called up Dominique Jones from their D-League team in Frisco. He played 21 minutes last night against Cleveland.
If Marc Cuban hopes to contend with San Antonio and Los Angeles in the West, he'll need to make a deal to cover up for the loss of his starting small forward. I think I've got just the one after the jump.
Caron Butler - 1 year, 10.6 million
Ian Mahinmi - 2 years, 1.7 million
Dominique Jones - 2 years, 2.2 million
Andre Iguodala - 4 years, 54.6 million
Tony Battie - 1 year, 854 thousand
We've discussed ad nauseum what we'd want in a trade for Andre Iguodala. Equal return is impossible, but high upside players and draft picks is much more realistic. Even though this package from Dallas isn't phenomenal, it does provide one high(ish) upside player in Mahinmi, and a young backup point guard in Jones. I'm assuming Rodrigue Beaubois is untouchable, and I'm also not as high on him as most, so I wouldn't sweat not getting him in a Dallas trade. And their pick would most likely be in the late twenties, which won't get us a star, but it is a good spot for golden boy Kenneth Faried.
Originally, I had Tyson Chandler as the main expiring contract, but after talking with LJ Rotter of our SB Nation Mavericks site Mavs Moneyball on Twitter, I didn't think Cuban would pull the trigger on Tyson, even though Brendan Haywood and his 6-year contract is on the bench. Here's what she said about including TC in the deal.
Never gonna happen. Tyson Chandler has single-handedly changed the mentality of the team. In my opinion, anyway.
Having Caron's $10 mil of expiring doesn't adhere to Ed Stefanski's basketball sense, but I'm hoping the recent play of Evan Turner is enough to make a move with Iguodala even if the return isn't there. A small part of me thinks that if a player is significantly hurt, he's not able to be traded as easily, but I remember when the Sixers traded for Jamal Mashburn a few years ago when he was basically retired from injury, and Raef Lafrentz has been moved enough times to make that small part of me feel stupid.
I think Jones and Mahinmi could develop into very capable role players, and a late first allows us to take a shot on a high upside player without as much of a risk. Mahinmi could provide the interior defense we've been missing from our young bigs and USF's Dom Jones is a scorer right now, but he's improving on defense and distributing. When Jrue Holiday needs a breather, having a young point guard to sub in with room to grow will be a nice change from Kevin Ollie, Royal Ivey and the like.
This would put Dallas on the short list of teams to take home a title. Iguodala is a better player than Butler, and he's also four years younger. Iguodala is a more efficient all-around scorer, even though Butler is better in the mid-range. But with Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd able to knock down outside shots on the reg, Andre won't be counted on to hit shots that he isn't comfortable taking. His usage rate could stay around 19% where he's comfortable, but his efficiency would go way up taking on a smaller role on a team like Dallas.
So the Sixers get a few young guys and a draft pick, while opening up playing time for Turner and picking up an expiring contract, and the Mavericks get another defensive big and one of the best 3rd options in the league. If Cuban is willing to commit the years to Andre (which he should, since Iguodala isn't even 27), then there's no reason this trade can't be made. This would leave the Sixers with only Elton Brand keeping them from a complete rebuild.