NBA Trade Rumors: Power Ranking Potential Destinations for Andre Iguodala
It seems that Andre Iguodala's place in Philly has never quite been safe. He is once again the subject of trade rumors, but with rookie Moe Harkless and Dorrell Wright now on the team, those rumors are finally starting to gain some steam.
This is starting to look like the year when Iguodala finally gets traded. But who will land the NBA's best perimeter defender not named LeBron? Here are the five best destinations for Philly's biggest trading chip.
No. 5: Dallas Mavericks
On the court Dallas would be a great fit. They have an established star in Dirk Nowitzki to lead the offense, but need a secondary scorer like Iggy.
Considering Nowitzki's aversion to defense and Shawn Marion's age, the Mavs could really use a stopper like Iguodala, and considering how badly they've done in free agency so far, adding Philly's best player would be a welcome change of pace.
Here's the problem: Dallas has nothing to offer. I doubt Philadelphia would be interested in Shawn Marion, Rodrigue Beaubois is the most universally overrated trade chip in the league and there's no way Dallas parts with Dirk.
That means all Dallas really has to offer is picks and cap relief. I doubt such an offer could get a deal done. The only reason they remain on this list is my long standing rule of never counting out Mark Cuban. If he really wants Iguodala, he'll find a way to make it happen.
No. 4: Utah Jazz
The Jazz and 76ers seem like natural trading partners considering how their teams are built. The Jazz have spare big men, Philly needs to get rid of a wing.
Any package sending Iguodala to Utah would likely include promising big man Derrick Favors. Favors started to flash some of his considerable potential last year, but he still has a long way to go.
A young team like Philly that could offer him a starting position might be just what he needs. He could develop alongside guys like Jrue Holliday and Evan Turner.
Two thousand miles away, Utah would suddenly be looking like a very scary team. Their frontcourt duo of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap would still be intact, but they'll have added another solid scorer and dominant defender to their roster.
Very few teams could defend Iguodala, Millsap and Jefferson at the same time. That is a very formidable front line.
No. 3: Los Angeles Lakers
If the 76ers want to win now, they'll think heavily about swapping Iguodala for LA's Pau Gasol.
With Elton Brand leaving via the amnesty clause and no stud replacement waiting in the wings, Gasol could be a perfect fit for Philly. The one thing the Sixers lacked last year was a go-to scorer. Gasol led Memphis to the playoffs in that role twice, and this Philly team is better overall than those Grizzlies teams were.
For the Lakers, it would finally solve their big man hierarchy issues. Nobody is quite sure which guy means more to the team, Gasol and Andrew Bynum, but we do know that those two can no longer coexist and that one has to go.
Adding someone like Iguodala solves that problem organically while giving the Lakers two things they desperately need: another perimeter scorer and a big-time defender.
Iguodala could guard the opponent's best wing player every night, saving Kobe Bryant's legs for offense. He would also be a nice scoring option for Steve Nash to find on the perimeter. Every Laker star would have a defined role: Nash would be the passer, Bynum would be the low post scorer, Iggy would be the slasher and defender, Kobe would be the pure scorer.
No. 2: Portland Trail Blazers
A reported three-team trade (as reported by Darren Wolfson of ESPN Radio, via blogs.trailblazers.com) between the 76ers, Wolves and Blazers, would send Nicolas Batum to Minnesota, Derrick Williams to Philly and Iguodala to Portland.
In theory it works out for everyone. Philly gets a rebuilding piece in former No. 2 overall pick Derrick Williams, Minnesota gets the guy they've coveted all summer in Batum and Portland gets someone ready to help them win right now.
There's only one problem: The Blazers aren't interested in such a trade. They'd rather keep Batum.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. Nicolas Batum is getting a big contract on potential alone, Andre Iguodala is a star right now.
Batum is younger, but Iguodala is still very much in his prime at 28 years old. Price isn't an issue either, as Batum is expected to receive a contract exceeding $50 million.
As a general rule, I don't think it's smart to pay 98 percent of the price for 70 percent of the player.
When Portland comes to their senses, this could be a good move for everyone involved. A Portland core of LaMarcus Aldridge, Iguodala, Damian Lillard and Meyers Leonard could be competitive for at least the next five years.
No. 1: Memphis Grizzlies
Whichever GM is holding up a Rudy Gay for Andre Iguodala swap really needs to reevaluate their career choices. This trade would be perfect for both sides.
For Philly, it finally gives them the scorer they need at the position that they're emptying, which means that they won't have to drastically alter their offense. They'd simply need to give Gay the ball more.
If Memphis really believes they're title contenders, every move they make should be preempted with the following questions: "how does this move help us beat Miami?"
It would also solve the current chemistry issues the Grizzlies have on offense. Rudy Gay's need for the ball hinders their ability to do what they do best: pound the ball down low. Their offense should be run through Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, but it's nearly impossible to do that with Gay on the team.
Adding Iguodala helps them on both offense and defense. It's a perfect fit. With him on the roster, the Grizzlies would match up with Oklahoma City and Miami better than anyone. Considering those are the two favorites I'd say that's a pretty big deal.