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Is It Time to Trade Iguodala?

For the record, I typically fall in the "pro-Iguodala" camp.  I see him as a somewhat underappreciated top 20-35 NBA player whose top 40 salary is reasonable market value. As the team's best player and only 26-years-old, I was against trading away Iguodala last season at the trade deadline - unless they received something of actual value such as a top 5 draft pick.  But some things have changed in Sixersland, so it is time to re-address the situation.

As of last spring the Sixers were underachieving under a bad coach, but had some young talent, a strong interior defender/rebounder, an upcoming high draft pick ... and Iguodala. But as of today the Sixers have zero interior defenders, while adding another promising creator on the wing (Turner) and a bunch of new tall jump shooters of varying ages and skill levels. They have also upgraded their coach and GM.

So compared to last spring the Sixers are arguably more talented and well directed, but even less balanced. They have redundancies of strengths and weaknesses- talented perimeter players who can create, rebound, defend and slash (Jrue, Iguodala and Turner) and multiple tall shooters who can't defend (Young, Nocioni, Kapono, Speights, Hawes, Brackins, Songalia.) The still lack bigs who can play in the post and guards who can shoot (at least in their primary rotation.)

So the question is, with 4 years left on Iguodala's contract, how good can they get while he's still here, and how much of a setback would result from his loss? Arguably - with the emergence of Jrue and the addition of Turner - they have playmakers and glue guys in the backcourt even without Iguodala. Although they have a chance of gaining an identity through a great J/T/I combo, they also are better prepared to win without Iguodala than in previous years. The loss in all around skills can be off-set by what Jrue and Turner can bring. And financially, you can get a solid player to complement Jrue and Turner for much less than what Iguodala makes (say a mid level defender/shooter like Outlaw who just signed for 7M/yr.)

We are also at a point where there is no legit big man answer in sight. Ignore for a second the fact that 9 potential NBA centers were just drafted- next year has little to nothing to offer in terms of defensive bigs (Kanter and Fab Melo?) While the Dalembert trade took on extra salary (Nocioni) that takes the Sixers out of the running for any FA big. So their next chance at acquiring a big is probably 2-3 years away. Are they prepared to go forth with no interior defense for that long? Can they build even the kernel of a winner (at PG/SG/SF) with such a flawed frontcourt and an absence of shooters to spread the floor?

I seriously doubt any combination of Speights, Young, Hawes, Lou or others can land this team a legit big - at least not one without a terrible contract (like Okafor, who Suede interestingly suggested.) And trading Turner or Jrue seems like a shortsighted option. And let's forget about last year's draft for a second - since it is water under the bridge (unless somehow the Sixers can trade for one of those players.)

I'm not going to suggest a specific trade. Others already have thrown names like Okafor, Favors, De'andre Jordan and even Oden out there. So feel free to give your two cents ... But more importantly, can this flawed, redundant but talented team be reshaped in the next 2 years without trading Iguodala? And if his trade is the only solution, what should the Sixers be looking for? (Besides the obvious and painful tanking of the coming season.)

So the question I have is do you favor trying to build an elite backcourt with J/T/I (with strong bench support with Lou/Meeks/Thad) and give Collins and Thorn a chance to work their magic through coaching and shuffling the other pieces ... or is it time to trade Iguodala, the best/only big ticket asset in order to acquire a 3rd young/affordable/complementary piece to build with alongside Jrue and Turner?

I'm on the fence - but would like them to explore an Iguodala trade. Best case - you get a promising young piece in return (Favors as part of a Melo trade would be to good to be true, so maybe aim lower) and position themselves to get another piece in next year's draft. That could result in a core of 4 future elite players - something you can win with and hopefully contend in 2-3 years.
by tk76 on Oct 15 2010
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Basketball | Preseason | Sixers | TK76 |