NBA Trade Rumors: Sixers Must Deal Andre Iguodala to Move Up in Draft

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IJune 15, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 26:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket against Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 26, 2012 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 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. The Celtics won 85-75. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Philadelphia 76ers forward Andre Iguodala is the subject of trade rumors.

While NBA fans have heard this for the past three or four seasons, this year should be different, as the Sixers must part with their All-Star forward in order to move up in the draft.

There are several reasons why, but the most obvious comes first: Even though they have some good talent in place, this Philadelphia team will not be legitimate contenders in the Eastern Conference until they add an impact player.

As is, Doug Collins’ team is a scrappy bunch, but one thing showed during their playoff run, and that’s the fact that the Sixers badly need a go-to scorer.

They potentially can get that by moving up in the draft.

Iguodala’s name has been thrown out there as a potential target with both Golden State, who holds the No. 7 pick and Toronto, who drafts No. 8.

In addition, the Charlotte Bobcats are rumored to be shopping the No. 2 overall pick in search of an experienced player.

This is a perfect opportunity to move Iguodala and try to add that scorer the Sixers need badly. They were a team that scored only 93.6 points per game during the regular season (22nd in NBA). That got even worse in the postseason, when they averaged only 85.7 points per game.

By moving up to the No. 7 or No. 8 pick, the Sixers have the option to target either a volume-scoring 2-guard or small forward, as Evan Turner can play either the 2 or the 3.

At No. 7, Philadelphia could possibly land Harrison Barnes, who has the ability to be a top scoring option in the NBA, after averaging 17.1 points per game on the season at North Carolina.

If Barnes is gone, the talents of a Perry Jones III, Jeremy Lamb or Austin Rivers would be there, and all would represent offensive upgrades for the Sixers.

However, dangling Iguodala in a package for the No. 2 pick where the Sixers could draft Florida’s Bradley Beal is something the Sixers need to aggressively pursue.

Beal could turn out to be the best pure scorer in this draft class and is a do-it-all type of 2-guard who would fit in rather nicely in Philadelphia.

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 27:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the rim past Mario Chalmers #15 of the Miami Heat  during game five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena on April 27, 2011
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Iguodala likely wouldn’t pull the No. 2 pick alone, but he certainly could be the centerpiece of a nice package that could do it.

As for Iguodala’s value, it has never been higher, coming off his first All-Star appearance and possible spot on Team USA for the 2012 London Games.

In addition, teams will find him more attractive because he’s down to only three years left (he can opt out of the third) on what was a ridiculous contract. Iguodala is owed only a guaranteed $28 million, which is much more attractive to teams than the $60+ million he was owed when the Sixers started shopping him years ago.

For the Sixers to contend in the east, their only option is to deal Iguodala.

With his contract, they are unlikely to ever sign the difference maker on offense that they need. But by moving up in the draft, they have a chance to easily land that guy for the future.