NBA Trade Talk: 5 Deals That Would Spark Philadelphia 76ers

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NBA Trade Talk: 5 Deals That Would Spark Philadelphia 76ers
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Last offseason, the talented yet starless Sixers had their fans foaming at the idea of a long awaited Andre Iguodala trade.  

The thought process went something like this: you need a bona fide star to win in the NBA, and as the closest such thing on the Sixers deep and versatile roster, Iguodala was the only bargaining chip who could elevate them out of the NBA's mucky middle class.

High-scoring, defense-shunning Warriors guard Monta Ellis was the most popular return player thrown around and he seemed like a perfect fit: an Iverson-like scoring guard who would learn to care about defense under the hard nosed tutelage of coach Doug Collins.

While the rumor was an emerging reality before the lockout, it died a quick, behind the scenes death once the league-wide crisis began and teams could no longer make changes to their roster.

With the Sixers off to a somewhat shocking 15-6 start in 2011-12 and leading the Atlantic Division by four and a half games over the old-enough-to-have-witnessed-the-Civil War Celtics, team management has appeared to put the star-centric ideology on a momentary back-burner in favor of team chemistry.

Almost no other team in the NBA features a top-eight rotation of players with at least a full year together under their belts. Five of those players, outside of second year Sixers' Spencer Hawes, Jodie Meeks and Evan Turner, have multiple years playing together under their collective belts.

Now if you trade Iguodala, you are trading the most valuable, versatile link in this now tough to break chain. But while re-emerging as a playoff contender is a cute, little story, it only stays cute until you bow out in five games in the second round of the playoffs.  Then the goal becomes winning a championship, and the Sixers will never do that with Iguodala as their best player.  

So does Iggy have to be the centerpiece? No because his Pippen-like skill set would look great next to a bigger star. But with the continued all-around emergence of fellow versatile swingman and 2010 number two pick Evan Turner, Iggy is still the most eligible bachelor for a not "if" but "when" scenario.

With the bigger picture in mind, here are five potential swing rumors that could elevate the Sixers from a boutique novelty into a perennial force.   

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