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What's the Difference?

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Kate Fagan's article this morning talks a lot about a glaring need for the Sixers, a shooting guard. This is nothing new, and the past two games illustrate the difference having a capable spot-up shooter can make to the other players who will most likely be on the team next season. Here's my question to you: Why does the perimeter threat have to come from the shooting guard?

The idea of playing Thad and Iguodala at the three/two probably will not work. I'm not sure we've seen enough of it to say that definitively, but let's just make the leap. Those two guys on the wings do not work. But why don't they work? Is it because they're both "small forwards" or is it because you don't have a legitimate deep threat between the two of them? My money is on the latter.

The imperative for this offseason isn't finding a shooting guard, it's finding a wing who can shoot, and hopefully do something else on the floor as well. If the Sixers are lucky enough to draft Wesley Johnson, it shouldn't be looked at like, "Well great, we got another small forward." It should be looked at like, "Great, we finally got a wing who can shoot."

Also, I get the logic that maybe Thad or Iguodala should be traded, it you're looking at things purely from the perspective that you have two similar wings, but I completely disagree with it. They are similar in that neither is a viable threat from three, but that's really where the similarities end. Iguodala can do everything you need a two or three to do on the floor except shoot. Thad cannot. Thad is a woefully incomplete player. I'm not sure if he's capable of manning the three, but I know for sure he isn't capable of manning the two, not even close.

So if you're talking about trading Iguodala, then yes, you absolutely need a shooting guard in return who can handle the ball, create for others, defend twos and shoot. If you don't want the team to take a major step back in the deal, he's going to have to be a hell of a shooting guard as well.

I'm not exactly sure I see an immediate need to trade either guy, however. Iguodala is clearly the better player, and since what we're talking about here is ways to make this team better, make it work, trading him is not a wise move. His versatility is what broadens the base of players you have to choose from. His defense allows you to hide weaknesses, same with his rebounding, ball handling and creativity. Iguodala is clearly the keeper of the two, and Thad is still on his rookie contract. He's relatively cheap.

If there's a market for Thad out there, possibly a market that would allow us to move up in the draft, then fine, move him. But to sit back and say there's no room for both Iguodala and Thad just doesn't make sense. I'll concede the point that there's no room for both of them to start, but it's plain as day that Iguodala isn't the one you need to move out of the starting lineup and it's equally clear that replacing Iguodala with Thad in the starting lineup is a giant leap in the wrong direction.

So let's bring this thing full circle. I asked a question before the jump, does it matter if the shooter is a 2 or a 3? Well, the answer is pretty simple. It doesn't matter one bit if Iguodala is still on the team. If Iguodala is traded, it matters quite a bit. In fact, if you trade Iguodala there's a fairly good chance you're going to need both a two and a three going forward, because I don't know how anyone can be confident Thad Young is going to be a capable small forward in this league.
by Brian on Mar 28 2010
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Basketball | Shooting | Sixers |