NBA Trade Speculation: Why the 76ers Should Swap Andre Iguodala for Al Jefferson

Baily Deeter@@deetersportsSenior Writer IIIJuly 14, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 05: Al Jefferson #25 of the Utah Jazz plays defense on Tim Duncan #21 of the San Antonio Spurs during the third quarter of Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at EnergySolutions Arena on May 5, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Spurs won 102-90. 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 Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have surprised a lot of people with their offseason moves.

They let go of Lou Williams because of his lack of defense, then signed a worse version of him in Nick Young. They drafted small forward Maurice Harkless and traded for fellow small forward Dorell Wright. And, they re-signed center Spencer Hawes.

But just about every Sixer fan knows that the biggest move is yet to come.

Harkless and Wright were brought in at small forward, and with Thaddeus Young playing there and Evan Turner seeing a few minutes at the 3, I doubt Andre Iguodala will still be on the team when the season starts.

Hawes and Nikola Vucevic are currently holding down the fort at center, but they shouldn't be alone there. Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz could be on the trade block, and Philadelphia should definitely try to make a move for him.

Jefferson is an above-average NBA center who would definitely help the 76ers. He averaged 19.2 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game last year, shot over 49 percent from the field and 77.4 percent from the free-throw line.

There may be a few better centers in the NBA, but the Sixers would definitely benefit from adding Jefferson.

They would probably have Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen and Al Jefferson in the starting lineup, and Arnett Moultrie, Spencer Hawes, Dorell Wright, Nick Young and Maurice Harkless would anchor a talented bench.

Andre Iguodala almost wouldn't be missed.

I wrote an article about Iguodala's value to team USA and how he is very important to the Olympic team. His ability to get steals and start fast breaks will definitely help team USA, but in Philadelphia, that won't help much.

Evan Turner is very similar to Iguodala. He contests shots and stops the penetration on defense, and he can start fast breaks. It's taken some time for him to develop, and he still needs to polish up his offense and his defense against stars; however, the Sixers have Harkless.

Harkless is just like Iguodala and Turner; he stops the penetration, contests shots and dominates on defense. Even though he has a 44.5 percent field-goal percentage and a 20.2 shooting percentage on threes, Harkless can score. He averaged 15.3 PPG in college, and he could score some points for the Sixers.

Even though Iguodala has done a lot for the Sixers, he isn't needed and a big man is. Spencer Hawes proved he shouldn't be a first option at center when he got dominated by the NBA's worst-rebounding team (Celtics) in the second round of the playoffs.

The Sixers are already preparing for life without Iguodala, so it seems obvious that they will deal him. Philadelphia will probably get a lot of offers for Iguodala, but if the Jazz offer to swap Jefferson for him, Philadelphia definitely needs to take it.

The Sixers will be fine without Iguodala. With the addition of Jefferson, they would become championship contenders.