Slowly, but surely, the 76ers embarked on a promising regular season that led to a playoff berth following an appalling 3-13 start. With a young nucleus, and a seasoned head coach, the Sixers witnessed the most surprising turnaround in the NBA by someone NOT named Derrick Rose.
Had the team continued on a path similar to the 3-13 opening record, Andre Iguodala would’ve been traded during the All-Star Weekend. Instead, 76ers’ President Rod Thorn and GM Ed Stefnaski lobbied to compete for postseason contention once the club began meshing and production improved on the floor.
Obviously, keeping Iguodala was vital to the team’s turnaround thanks to his 14.1 points, 6.3 assists, 5.8 rebounds per game and superior perimeter defense (led to NBA’s Second All-Defensive Team). However, now it’s time for the lifelong Sixer to departure The City of Brotherly Love.
At this point it seems inevitable that Dre is a goner with the offseason approaching. And the feeling is mutual as seen by AI9’s no-show to meet with team officials.
We cannot degrade his value and meaning for this franchise. He has been an excellent all-around basketball player and class-act through his tenure. But this team is heading in the right direction, if he wants out, then let it be. The Sixers have a young core to build around and plenty of holes to fill. By trading Iguodala, soon-to-be sophomore Evan Turner will be expected to blossom. When ET steps up, it’d be nice to see the Sixers address the glaring hole in the post.
We’ve heard the blabber about AI9 for Brandon Roy or Rudy Gay, but both would be idiotic. Neither would allow for ET to develop and both are injury-plagued. Especially Brandon Roy, whose awful knees mirror a 35-year old shooting guard, not someone who’s 26. Plus, Gay signed a lucrative 5-year 80-million dollar contract last offseason and despite a pleasant season, the Sixers will not want to risk paying all-star money, to someone who is not an all-star.
So Mr. Iguodala, it has been real, but PEACE. I’ve done explored potential trades with multiple NBA franchises that have not been mentioned. Here are some realistic (since NBA executives respect Igoudala more outside of Philadelphia) scenarios that would benefit Doug Collins’ roster:
Andrew Bynum for Andre Iguodala
Lakers pull the trigger … to follow Magic Johnson’s instructions that it’s time to blow up the roster after failing to make a fourth appearance in the NBA Finals. They should’ve pulled the trigger on the rumored Carmelo Anthony deal and now strongly regret not taking it. Instead, they’ll settle for the next best thing and are thrilled, that unlike Anthony, Iguodala actually cares about playing defense.
76ers pull the trigger …to address the five position which is absolutely horrendous. This team cannot carry on with Spencer Hawes, Tony Battie and Mo Speights in the post. Bynum is just 23 years of age and entering his first healthy offseason which will allow him to go through a full offseason of conditioning. He’s shown the potential to be a perennial all-star and although his injury history is frightening, the ceiling is undoubtedly worth the price. Did you see the postseason? Not the part where he leveled JJ Barea out of frustration, but the Lakers’ ten games as a whole? Bynum (14.4 ppg., 9.6 rpg. & 1.4 bpg.) became the go-to post threat ahead of superstar Pau Gasol. Bynum is worth the risk.
Dwight Howard for Speights, Lou-Will and Andre Iguodala
Magic pull the trigger …with no other choices. After next season, Dwight Howard and his three-time Defensive Player of the Year ability is gone. The Magic would take a better-version of Gilbert Arenas at this point of his career in Lou Williams, and an athletic center in Marreese Speights along with AI9.
76ers pull the trigger …since it’s freaking DWIGHT HOWARD. His incredible amount of talent and athletic ability at the center position are unheard of. It’d be critical that we sign him to an extension beyond his one year of usage. But, if we didn’t, not all would be lost. Mo Speights and Dwight Howard’s contracts would be off the books, Jason Kapono’s deal is expiring this summer would carry over some cash and Andres Nocioni would likely be dealt. With all that cash, we could go after a top free agent like Kevin Love (my vote), Andrew Bynum (see above) or Chris Paul/Deron Williams (pending Jrue Holiday failing to live up to expectations).
Tyrus Thomas and Steven Jackson for Andre Iguodala
Bobcats pull the trigger …because they’re remodeling their franchise which began with the dismissal of Gerald Wallace this past February. Iguodala gives them a leader without the headache that Steven Jackson can provide.
76ers pull the trigger …because this is the only trade option they can find for Iguodala. Really can’t see this one happening, but it works for ESPN’s Trade Machine so I thought it deserved to be recognized. Steven Jackson would move Jodie Meeks to the bench and be paired up with ET, as Tyrus Thomas would continue to fall short of his potential.
Luol Deng, Omer Asik and Taj Gibson for Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams
Bulls pull the trigger …realizing they need change to be more than regular season champs. Lou-Will gives them a spark plug scorer off the bench and Dre fits into Thibodeau’s defensive philosophy.
76ers pull the trigger …to get a good small forward, although crappy contract, and an excellent power forward defender in Taj Gibson. Omer Asik hopefully turns into a better starting option then the current Sixers’ centers.
Deng, Asik and Taj Gibson for Andre Igoudala, Jodie Meeks and Speights
Bulls pull the trigger …asking for a less selfish player in Meeks (compared to Lou-Will) and an excellent shooter off the bench to pair up with Kyle Korver for long-distance duties. Thibodeau would love Andre. Speights takes over Asik’s minutes off the bench.
76ers pull the trigger because…(see above)
Danilo Galinari, Timofey Mozgov and Al Harrington for Andre Iguodala
Nuggets pull the trigger …thanks to Harrington’s inexplicable deal, Galinari’s subpar defense and loaded frontcourt which won’t make way for Mozgov to get minutes. George Karl couldn’t stand Carmelo’s lackluster defense but would enjoy one of the best defenders in the Association.
76ers pull the trigger …because Galinari would pair up excellently with ET or Jodie Meeks in the starting lineup, depending on who Collins was feeling. Timofey Mosgov possesses the size, skill set and mobility to be a good center in the NBA, just hasn’t quite figured things out. But the one knock on the deal would be inheriting Al Harrington’s contract.
Chris Kaman, Al-Farouq Aminu and Willie Warren for Andre Iguodala
Clippers pull the trigger …adding Iguodala as an excellent third/fourth scoring option behind Blake Griffin, Eric Gordon and maybe Mo Williams. Also, Blake’s Clippers would finally have someone who’s worried about getting stops. This would be a great marriage for both parties and (I’m not crazy, I swear) the other team in Los Angeles would become playoff contenders.
76ers pull the trigger …due to a dire need for a talented, yet injury-prone, center. Add the versatile Aminu to the bench corps to go alongside Thad and Lou while hoping he eventually develops into a starter. Willie Warren would likely ride the bench but can stroke the trey if need be.
Paul Millsap and Gordon Hayward for Andre Iguodala
Jazz pull the trigger …because the organization is ready for the raw Derrick Favors to be inserted into the starting lineup. Milsap is the sole that stands in the way of Favors potentially becoming a superstar. Iguodala would fill in, and surpass, the departure of 2011 free agent Andrei Kirilenko.
76ers pull the trigger …so their backcourt makeup would include: Meeks, Jrue, ET, Lou-Will and Hayward which equates to a young crew with mad upside and all under 25. Also, Millsap would lead the way scoring-wise but it’d take time for Milsap and EB to gel on offense.