Philadelphia 76ers: Why Team Would Be Foolish to Trade Andre Iguodala

Adam Merkle@@AdamLMerkleContributor IIIJune 20, 2012

BOSTON, MA - MAY 26:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket against 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

Let's face it,  Philadelphia 76ers fans may have been given an unfair reputation due to the actions of a few fans, but they aren't stupid—these fans know their sports. 

Sixers fans understand that while Andre Iguodala has found success playing in the City of Brotherly Love, he will never amount to the star the city has been lacking since the departure of Allen Iverson

Iguodala has that big-play type of game, similar to that of LeBron James, but his game is significantly less polished and at 6'6", 207 pounds, he doesn't quite have the bulk that allows him to muscle his way past big men like LeBron does.

While his talents quite aren't at the superstar level, much of his success can be attributed to his extensive wing span's ability to disrupt shooters. 

His sensational defense and nearly unmatched ability to successfully guard four different positions make him a valuable part of the Philadelphia squad. 

And at 28, he isn't going to slow down in the near future, but rather readjust his role to fit coach Doug Collins' system as an energy guy that plays lock-down defense. 

There is always room on NBA teams for guys that play tough defense because there aren't enough of them to go around. 

For years now, the NBA has become more about showboating and high-flyers rather than the staple point that has fostered winning for so many years: hard defense.

He isn't the greatest scorer, but he is a freakish hybrid blend of athlete that can both take it to the rim with authority and occasionally bury the outside jumper. 

Iguodala is far from the caliber of a shooter like Kevin Durant and that has always hurt his image, but the Sixers made it to within a game of the NBA Finals, despite awful shooting, partially because of the stellar defensive unit that was anchored by Iguodala. 

The numbers don't lie. No matter who Iguodala has to guard, he is able to hold them to well below their averages with his long wing span, causing many disruptions that lead to fast breaks. 

And make no mistake, he is usually facing off against the opposing team's strongest wing players on a nightly basis. 

In two playoff rounds this season, he shut down the Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng (who had the majority of the Bulls offense run through him with Rose sidelined) and then he troubled Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce throughout their series. 

Iguodala is an absolute matchup nightmare, and while the Sixers are probably overpaying him at around $30 million for just two more seasons, $15 million a season for a shutdown defender who also has upside on the offensive end isn't really that unreasonable. 

This offseason, rumors circulating around Iguodala have the Sixers potentially trading him to achieve a better drafting position than the spot they currently hold at No. 15. 

The Sixers front office understands that they need help at the forward slot, and they have already been in communications with the highly-touted Connecticut freshman Andre Drummond. 

But, in order for the team to have a chance at selecting him, they will have to make a move to acquire a better draft spot, and by selecting an unpolished big man like Drummond, the Sixers put themselves in a risky situation waiting around for talent to develop. 

And should the Sixers decide to part ways with Elton Brand, Iguodala will be left as the loan true veteran of the squad with a career that has now spanned eight seasons.

The nucleus of this Philadelphia team is still young and having a mentor who can also play the rare point-forward role is too valuable to just trade away for the chance at drafting some more talent.

Look at it this way, Thaddeus Young was taken with the 12th pick of the 2007 draft and Jrue Holiday was selected with the 17th pick of the 2009 draft.  Philadelphia has found great success with drafting gems in the middle of the rounds. has the Sixers using the 15th selection in this year's draft on the 6'11", 233-pound combo forward Arnett Moultrie who has potential to be a matchup nightmare because of his athleticism. 

DraftExpress gives Sixers fans even more hope for the future as they have the team selecting Baylor All-American Perry Jones III, who at 6'11" and 235 pounds is of the very same build as Moultrie.

Although I doubt PJ3 will fall all the way to the 15th slot, the point is that the Sixers can build toward the future development of promising big men that they so desperately need. 

Keeping Iguodala to keep the succinct unit intact will remain the best option for Philadelphia at this point in time.