Philadelphia 76ers: Keeping Andre Iguodala Stunts Team Growth

Andrew WorsleyContributor IIJune 27, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 30:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Orlando Magic during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Wachovia Center on April 30, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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 Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Once again, Andre Iguodala finds himself at the forefront of conversation regarding the Philadelphia 76ers' trade options. The only difference is that this time, they have their finger on the trigger.

Realistically, it would be in their best interest to pull it.

At this stage in Iguodala’s career, we know what he has to offer: Suffocating defense, quality three-point shooting and SportsCenter Top 10 finishes.

Hands down, he’s the best player on the team.

However, in eight seasons with the Sixers, Iguodala has only been to the second round of the playoffs once, and that one time had an asterisk.

Let’s be honest: If Derrick Rose doesn’t land awkwardly, the Sixers probably don’t come out on top.

My point is that with Iguodala featured in the offense, they’ll continually get the same results—either missing the playoffs altogether or being eliminated in the first round.

Iguodala is an All-Star—he obviously has game. He’s just not the piece that’s going to elevate this team to the next level. It would be outrageous to pay $30 million over two years for him.

Keeping Iguodala around not only validates Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) but more detrimentally, it impedes the growth of the younger players.

Take Evan Turner for example.

Turner is listed as a shooting guard, but he and Iguodala share some of the same qualities. They both play outstanding defense, they know how to attack the basket and they crash the boards. The only difference is that Turner has the better upside—he’s the future.

Iguodala has already shown us his hand, but Evan Turner’s cards are still faced down.

Thus far, Turner hasn’t been very impressive, considering he was the No. 2 pick of the 2010 draft, but is Iguodala slightly to blame for that?

A little bit.

With Iggy on the floor, Turner isn’t getting as many touches as he deserves. The similarities in their style of play results in them looking for the same shot. It’s inefficient.

It seems pointless to hold two of kind when you can trade one to better your team.

The Los Angeles Lakers (via HOOPSWORLD) and Toronto Raptors (via ESPN) have been rumored to have interest in Iguodala. In trading with L.A, you could potentially acquire somebody who would make an immediate impact for the franchise.

Doing business with Toronto would give you the opportunity to move up in the draft.

Iguodala is more useful on the market than he is on the court. And the Sixers know this.

Will they pull the trigger?