Don’t be so quick to chuckle at this proposal. We kicked it around a little bit here at the Philadunkia offices before putting it out there and it’s not that crazy of an idea. Obviously it would have to be a sign and trade, but here’s why we think it could make sense for both organizations.
1) Neither player is exactly thrilled with the current team he is playing on.
Gordon feels and has felt for years that he should be starting and getting paid accordingly. Gordon is one of the best sixth men in the league, but he wants to start…period. That will not happen in Ch-town. As we all know, Gordon failed to reach a long-term extension the past two summers with the Bulls. Gordon turned down a five-year, $50 million deal in 2007 and a six-year, roughly $54 million deal in 2008. To say that he feels disrespected by the offers he received in Chicago is an understatement. He says he wants to stay in Chicago, but you can bet that he’d be happier starting in Philadelphia with a new six-year deal, then coming off Del Negro’s bench under a one-year-mid-level exception deal. Lastly, it is widely reported that the failed negotiations badly strained relations between Gordon’s agent Raymond Brothers and the Bulls organization and that will make getting a deal done is Chicago a very big challenge.
As for Iguodala…after signing a huge $80 million deal during the summer of 2008, Iguodala had an inconsistent year and was criticized heavily in Philadelphia. We’ve also learned that he whined frequently this season about ping-ponging back-and-forth between the 3 and 4 spots. Then Iguodala was highly critical of his teammates and the Sixers Head Coach Tony DiLeo after the Game 6 debacle vs. Orlando. Iggy also stated that he was going sit down with 76ers GM Ed Stefanski in the off-season and “discuss what I think will get us over the [hump].” When asked if that was Iguodala’s role, Stefanski simply replied, “No.” As we all know, Iguodala also unloaded this gem regarding the team’s progress in comparison to the rest of the Eastern Conference, “I don’t think I can say it, but I think we’re going down.” So let’s see, coming off a whiny, roller-coaster regular season and a disappointing post season, Iguodala insulted his teammates, the Sixers possible head coach in 2009-10 and the GM of the organization. Those are some difficult bridges to mend in the off-season, especially to a point where people will respect you and view you as the leader of the Sixers in coming seasons.
2) The dollars work.
You have to figure that based on his superhero-like performances during the 2009 post season that Gordon is going to get in the neighborhood of 6 years at $70 million and change. Iguodala obviously has five years remaining on his 6 years, $80 million contract that he signed last year. So the Bulls would probably have to throw in some scraps to make the money end of the deal work under the NBA CB agreement, but that happens all the time in the NBA, so it’s not anything that would hold this deal up.
3) Both would instantly and nicely fill glaring holes on the other team.
For the Sixers the deal quickly solves their problem at the two-spot as they will now have 6-3 athlete with unlimited range and a liquid stroke in the back-court. Yes he often takes too many shots and play mediocre defense, but on offense he’s Larry Bird next to Willie Green. As a bonus, acquiring Gordon also allows them to play Thaddeus Young at the small forward, his more natural position. Now defensively the Sixers would get worse in this deal, so they’ll have to find a point who can really defend to pair with Gordon, otherwise the 2009-10 Sixers will have to play like the “7 seconds or less” Suns to win games, but that’s not impossible to pull off.
The Bulls get a three-man that will contribute on a nightly basis, which is much more then they had this year at that position. Acquiring Iguodala would also allow the Bulls to ship off the very disappointing and over paid Loul Deng (The Bulls current three-man.) to some sucker who still thinks Deng has potential. In exchange the Bulls would look for some much needed big-man help. Gordon would be replaced at the two-spot by John Salmons. He’s a guy the Chicago front office loves and are looking to find him more tick.