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Philadelphia 76ers: Why Pau Gasol for Andre Iguodala Trade Should Never Happen

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers goes up for a dunk during the game against the Boston Celtics in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 18, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Sixers won 92-83. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Michael FoglianoAnalyst IJune 8, 2012

It was just last season where the Philadelphia 76ers almost traded Andre Iguodala to the Los Angeles Lakers, but now talks are centered around veteran big man Pau Gasol.  

Speculation of a deal like this was always present, but the issue became prevalent when it was officially reported by Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD. Kennedy states in his report:

"The Lakers, who are looking to shake their roster up this offseason, are expected to once again emerge as a potential suitor for Iguodala... 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 years."

Now, at first, it seems like a flashy deal. The Sixers get rid of Iguodala in exchange for an experienced power forward. Fair deal, right? Well, it's not that easy. This deal is not as good for the Sixers as it seems.

This season Gasol averaged a solid 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Solid numbers, indeed, but that 17.4 is a career low in points per game.

With the Sixers roster containing nine players on the team 25 years old or younger, there is no doubt this team is built for the future. Bringing in a 31-year-old player (unless they are a top-three player) is not an asset any team should be aiming for at this stage in development. Philadelphia is not building to win now, especially if they are trading away their best player built to win now.

This brings me on to my next point: It virtually defeats the purpose of Iguodala's trade value.

What do I mean by this? I mean that the sole reason behind trading Iguodala is so they can build for the future.

They are trading him because they know they have tried winning now with him, but it hasn't worked. And since it is proven they cannot get it done, they are trading for the future. 

Honestly, they are moving on to where they have the most potential to win.

But in this deal they are not doing what they should be doing. Instead, they are trading a player built to win now for a player built to win now. Thus, they would not be utilizing his trade value correctly and the deal becomes meaningless.

The trade does not solve any problems or accomplish anything. It does not address the need for change or move them any step closer to a title.

In short, the trade is nothing but redundant.

Also, Philadelphia has a lot of potential to make moves for improvement. There are so many other alternatives they could take opposed to this.

Specifically, they could go after a big-man free agent like Kris Humphries or Ersan Ilyasova. Perhaps they could trade Iguodala to a team like the Toronto Raptors looking for a swingman and willing to give their high first-round pick. They could even try to trade for someone to put next to Iguodala. 

The options are endless. The point is, they have a lot of other routes to work with that they should be prioritizing before a deal for Gasol.

The Sixers have been down this road before with Elton Brand and they certainly do not want to take it again. I'm not saying the exact same thing will happen with Gasol, but he isn't getting any better and the only direction he can go is downhill.

So for those of you excited about this deal, I ask you to think twice. Look again. Think about the stage the Sixers are in, the other viable options that are out there and how much effective time Pau has left.

A deal for Gasol may seem nice on the surface, but he simply does not fit in with what the Sixers are striving to be.

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