Philadelphia 76ers: Assessing Andre Iguodala's Trade Value
Over the past few summers, trade rumors involving the 28-year-old Iguodala have run rampant, only to result in the small forward returning to South Philly.
To fans' dismay, Iguodala stayed put in the midst of an ownership change that ultimately saw the Sixers make their deepest playoff run in the last 10 years.
Now, with another summer of trade rumors and speculation upon us, it's time to assess where Iguodala could get moved and whom he could be dealt for.
Could a center solve the Sixers' frontcourt problems?
It's no secret that the Sixers lack physicality on the front line. Spencer Hawes is headed for unrestricted free agency, which leaves the inexperienced Nikola Vucevic as the team's only legitimate center.
Although Hawes shot a career-best 48.9 percent from the field this season, he played in just 37 games due to a bum Achilles'.
Hawes didn't do much in the playoffs to dispel the notion that he has become a streaky shooter. Hawes averaged just 9.3 points on 8.3 attempts per game, and secured double-digit rebounds on only three occasions in the series versus Chicago and Boston.
The Lakers, who are looking to shake their roster up this offseason, are expected to once again emerge as a potential suitor for Iguodala. The 28-year-old would be an excellent fit for Los Angeles and solve their problem at small forward. Sources close to the situation say that Kobe Bryant would welcome the move since he has wanted the Lakers to acquire an athletic, versatile small forward for several years.
Amid speculation that the Sixers could deal Iguodala to the Lakers, what pieces could the Sixers bring in from Los Angeles that could improve their team?
Pau Gasol has been a popular name on the trade block, and while his double-double consistency would bring some stability to the Sixers offense, the 31-year-old Spaniard has very little room left to improve.
While 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game aren't numbers to look down upon, the Sixers would be wise to look elsewhere for a long-term solution.
Perhaps a scorer is the answer
Fans have long argued that Iguodala could and should be that scorer, but his game hasn't revolved around shooting the basketball.
What makes Iguodala's trade value so difficult to appraise is that his game doesn't seem to be easily quantifiable. This season, Iguodala averaged a meager 12.4 points per game, good for fourth on the team.
With more diverse offensive options like Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young, Iguodala's role became that of a facilitator and a lockdown defender. Although his statistics may not have been worthy of an All-Star selection, NBA coaches realized the significant impact that Iguodala had on each and every game.
Constantly tasked with guarding the likes of LeBron James, Danny Granger, Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce, Iguodala established himself as one of the league's premier defenders (despite being snubbed from the All-Defensive team).
If the Sixers brass decides it's Iguodala's time to go, they may want to consider looking at an athletic wing as his replacement. The first name that comes to mind as a possible fit is Rudy Gay of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gay is built very similar to Iguodala at 6'8'' and 230 pounds, but possesses more offensive prowess. Over the last five seasons Gay has not averaged fewer than 18.9 points per game for one of the league's brightest young teams.
While a center appears to be a more glaring need than another athletic wing player, this team won't see any significant change unless they add a legitimate scorer capable of closing out games.
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