What do we do with Andre Iguodala?

When Andre Iguodala didn’t return for the second half of the Cleveland game, a lot was going through my mind.  I was excited to watch Jrue and Turner handle the ball and control the offense, rather than playing through our selfish “leader.”  We lost the game, but our young backcourt gave us a glimpse of what they are capable of with Iguodala out of the equation.  And I think Doug Collins knows it.  In last week’s overtime loss at Washington, Iguodala barely played in the 4th quarter, and when he did get in the game, he failed to foul Cartier Martin before he hit the game tying 3.

So this leads to my question.  What do we do with Andre Iguodala? Well theres 3 options.  The first won’t happen, so I’m not even going to mention it.  (Okay, its sit Iggy on the bench for a while until he decides he wants to be a team player and help make Jrue and Turner better).  The second option is to do nothing.  Keep Iguodala, play him 35 minutes a game, and win just enough games to miss the playoffs.  Option 3 is the most appealing to me and everyone who I talk to.  And that option is trading him.  While I would rather Turner come off the bench, at least for now, he showed today against New York that he is confident enough to play 30+ minutes.  He has defended better than I realized he could, and the jumpshot is just enough of a threat to keep defenses honest.  Turner has really impressed so far, and he needs to get minutes to keep getting better.

So lets assume we go with option 3.  Its easier said than done to trade a guy like Iguodala, who is not a great outside shooter and is making more than 55 million over the next 4 seasons.  But there is interest around the league.  Its just a matter of whether or not the Sixers braintrust of Ed Stefanski and Rod Thorn agree with me.  Just a quick disclaimer, the possible trades I list below are not actual rumors.  I thought them up on my own, so don’t look too much into this, its just an idea of the type of move I would like to see.

Now before I give my potential trades, there’s 3 things that Thorn and Stefanski must consider in a trade involving Iguodala.

1. Find a team that needs him
– The teams that I list are just 4 of the teams in the NBA that could immediately benefit from adding a guy like Iggy to their lineup. They either lack wing scoring or are one guy away from being a contender. Owners will be hesitant to take on his salary, especially if it means giving up expiring contracts or draft picks, so Stefanski needs to find the right suitor.
2. Do not take back salary
– The big rumor going around right now has Luol Deng coming to Philadelphia. Deng’s contract is almost identical to Iguodala’s, and is slightly less tradable in the coming years. This trade might make sense if Turner was ready to play 35 minutes a game at the 2, and we were a championship contender. But he isn’t, and we aren’t. If we trade our best player just to take back another one dimensional player with too big of a contract, I’m losing all faith in this organization.
3. “Dennis Rodman” Rule
– There are only a handful of guys in this league who will truly do whatever their team asks of them. Reggie Evans is asked to rebound; nothing else. Thabo Sefolosha is asked to play defense; nothing else. Aside from maybe Evan Turner, the Sixers have no one on the roster that will consistently step in and take a charge, or do something else to hinder their own personal glory for the greater good of the team. We lack toughness, and this trade could be a good opportunity to add some.

I had some fun with this, and again, don’t look too much into this, just enjoy.  All 4 of my trades fit rules 1 and 2, and I tried to work rule 3 in there wherever possible (Hansbrough, J. Hill, Udoh). We are probably giving up more than we recieve in all 4, but it would be unrealistic to ask for equal value in return for Andre. Here’s what I came up with…

Phi receives: Jordan Hill, Shane Battier, 2011 1st
Hou receives: Andre Iguodala, 2011 2nd

WHY THEY DO IT: We know Iguodala can play, but we also know that would thrive in an offense where he can be the second or third option, rather than a go-to guy. The Rockets have a top 10 scorer in Kevin Martin, and legitimate scoring threats in Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola. Iguodala replaces Battier in the starting lineup.

WHY WE DO IT: Battier’s 7 mil comes off the books after this season, so that would help free some cap space entering the 2011 free agency. Jordan Hill is a tough young big man who is nowhere near his potential. He has a high motor and would bring a lot of energy off the bench. The swapping of draft picks just sweetens the deal.

Phi receives: Tyler Hansbrough, Mike Dunleavy, Dahntay Jones
Ind receives: Andre Iguodala, Mo Speights

WHY THEY DO IT: Similar situation to Houston. Indiana has a number one scorer in Danny Granger, and good young talent around him. But they lack a number 2 scorer and someone to take the pressure off of Granger. Both Hansbrough and McRoberts, the Pacer power forwards, are more of energy guys than scorers. Speights gives them a dimension they really need.

WHY WE DO IT: Dunleavy’s 10 million are off the books after this season. Hansbrough adds toughness, hustle, and as much as we all hated him in college, hes a winner. Dahntay Jones is relatively cheap, and wants out of Indiana. He has had some nice years when hes happy, and could start or come off the bench at shooting guard.

Phi receives: Andrei Kirilenko, Kryrlo Fesenko
Utah receives: Andre Iguodala, Jason Kapono

WHY THEY DO IT: Kirilenko’s name has been thrown around in trade talks all year. The Jazz are really good, but they don’t have the personal to compete with LA, and before Deron Williams becomes Free Agent eligible, Utah needs to go all in and try to win now. The Jazz bench is really missing Kyle Korver this year, and Kapono can fill a definite need for them.

WHY WE DO IT: Kirilenko’s massive 17 million dollar salary expires after this season. Philly would have a good chance to resign Kirilenko for a much more reasonable price, and he brings a lot of intangibles to the team. Fesenko is a huge center who is still raw offensively, but came on in last year’s postseason and looked good in extended minutes. After Hawes, we have very little depth at the center position, and Fesenko will give us a good 15 minutes per game. With Nocioni playing well, Collins is having a tough time finding minutes for Kapono, who will benefit from a less crowded Jazz bench.

Phi receives: Dan Gradzuric, Ekpe Udoh, Charlie Bell
GS receives: Andre Iguodala, Craig Brackins

WHY THEY DO IT: I can’t find one reason why either team wouldn’t love this deal. Golden State plays a fast, up-tempo style that Iguodala would fit nicely into. Curry and Ellis put up the bulk of the shots, so Iggy won’t be asked to do too much. The Warriors are 4-1 so far, and if they think they can contend in the west, this trade might get them there.

WHY WE DO IT: There is definitely some risk here. Ekpe Udoh, the big piece in the trade, is yet to play an NBA game. The 9th overall pick in the 2010 draft got hurt in the preseason and is expected to miss a few more months. But he is a big time prospect with huge upside. I’m reaching a little here, but his ceiling might be Amar’e Stoudamire. Udoh is as athletic, and already a better defensive player than amar’e. If he can develop an offensive game, he can be an elite power forward. Gradzuric is a capable backup center with a 7 million dollar contract that runs out after the season. Bell can stretch the floor with his outside shot, but is really just thrown in to make the salaries match up.

So tell me what you guys think.  Do you want to keep Iguodala or trade him, and what type of package would you want in return if we do make a trade.  I’d love the comments, thanks.

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Tags: Andre Iguodala Ed Stefanski Rod Thorn Trades

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