Andre Iguodala's Time in Philadelphia May Be Coming to an End
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The Philadelphia 76ers have made headlines the past few weeks with a few puzzling maneuvers. On draft night, the organization added small forward Moe Harkless, despite possessing depth at the position. A few days ago, the franchise amnestied veteran power forward Elton Brand.
And what position does Dorell Wright play?
That's right! The sharpshooter plays small forward, which is intentionally the same spot at which Andre Iguodala spends a majority of his playing time.
In one month, two three-men have been obtained by the 76ers. Plus, the team already possesses swingmen Nick Young, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young. Simply put, Iguodala may have played his last game for Philadelphia.
However, trading Iggy may not be the only thing on the brass' mind. The fact that the team is beginning to focus on preserving cap, most notably letting Lou Williams walk in free agency and relieving themselves of the cumbersome Brand contract, shows that they may be entering a full-scale rebuilding mode.
Despite advancing to the second round of the playoffs, which should have an asterisk next to the success due to the absence of Derrick Rose from the opening series, the 76ers have most likely come to terms with the fact that the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and the up-and-coming Brooklyn Nets are the new faces of the Eastern Conference.
In other words, there is almost no chance Philadelphia reaches the NBA Finals with their current core. The opposing squads are just too talented for this young roster to handle.
That is not to say this team is void of talent. Jrue Holiday (21 years old), Moe Harkless (19), Arnett Moultrie (19), Evan Turner (23), Nikola Vucevic (21), Spencer Hawes (24), Lavoy Allen (23), Nick Young (27), Dorell Wright (26) and Thaddeus Young (24) will be the major players surrounding Iguodala come next season, barring any trades or future signings.
While looking at this plethora of prospects, it is easy to see that Philadelphia has a bright future, as all of these players are relatively young and have promising potential. With time to develop together, we could be looking at the Eastern Conference version of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
But where does Iggy fit in this plan?
Since drafting Evan Turner, the Andre Iguodala trade rumors have circulated over and over again. Both players have similar size and skill sets. Both excel with the ball in their hands and are surprisingly efficient facilitators.
Even though Iggy excels on defense and Turner is known for his scoring prowess, the tandem has failed to mesh during their tenure together. However, if the team trades Iggy, everything seems to fit perfectly in place.
With the former Ohio State star manning the starting shooting-guard slot and Wright assuming the opposite wing, this allows the trio of Harkless, Nick Young and Thaddeus Young to come off the bench and provide a scoring punch. Holiday would continue to be the lead point guard on the roster.
The big man spots would, in turn, be manned by Moultrie, who was originally drafted by the Heat before being shipped on draft day to Philly, Hawes, who shined at moments during the playoffs and Allen, who excelled against Kevin Garnett in their second series. Vucevic will also be able to contribute down the road when he refines his game.
If the organization decides to ship Iguodala to a different city, the team would hopefully focus on adding another low-post threat and picks.
This probably wouldn't be that difficult considering that Iggy is a top-tier defender. Sure, his offensive output has declined the past few seasons, but he just earned his first All-Star appearance due to his other contributions.
So, let's take a look at some possible destinations.
Potential Landing Spots
The Houston Rockets have become desperate in trying to add a top-20 star to lead their promising roster. While Kevin Martin and Luis Scola are established veterans, neither are talented enough to revitalize the basketball spirit in a city still reeling over the retirement of Yao Ming.
Iguodala would surely be welcomed with open arms and the Rockets have the pieces to deal for the Team USA participant. A combination comprised of picks, Luis Scola and a prospect would surely pry Iguodala from the team that drafted him.
The former Florida Gator would become the next great big man in Philadelphia history. Iguodala, on the other hand, would team up with Josh Smith to establish the Hawks as one of the best defensive squads in the Association.
Could the 76ers possibly swing a deal to add forwards Derrick Favors and Paul Millsap? Possibly, but the Jazz would have to bite on the enticing offer of Iguodala.
Favors holds All-Star potential with his explosive athleticism, 6'10" frame and efficient post-game. With this young prospect coupled with Millsap, Philly would be absolutely set for the future.
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