The offseason has become virtually synonymous with Andre Iguodala rumors in Philadelphia, but the latest one should be somewhat reassuring for the versatile swingman.
According to a source, a trade involving Iguodala “won’t happen” during the off-season. As a result of that, the Sixers’ off-season tinkering to their roster is complete and aside from a few free agents who get invitations to training camp, the team is set.
There are, however, still a number of reasons to suspect Iguodala will be on the move before all is said and done, including Finger's conspicuous specification that he wouldn't be moved this summer.
We can only assume his source wasn't willing to offer any assurance regarding their plans leading up to the trade deadline due to the fact that no such assurances exist. After all, the 76ers would be crazy to limit their options.
Iguodala has a player-option to return to the team in 2013-14. That kind of short-term commitment might be attractive to a contender looking to add a missing piece without sacrificing cap flexibility.
From Philadelphia's perspective, holding on to Iguodala for much longer could put the team in something of a catch-22.
At 28 years old, offering the forward a long-term extension wouldn't make much sense for an otherwise young team.
Iguodala thrives in large part because of his athleticism, and the last thing the 76ers need is a guy declining into his 30s while his contract obstructs the addition of younger talent that might better fit alongside young stars like Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young.
On the other hand, it wouldn't make much sense to simply let the guy go for nothing, especially while he has enough trade value to land some prospects and/or draft picks.
Philadelphia should be thinking ahead.
This is a club that could certainly guarantee itself a postseason berth for the foreseeable future, but it's really in no position to contend against title favorites like the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics or a healthy version of the Chicago Bulls.
None of that should detract from Iguodala's value.
Even as his scoring production has declined, he remains a well-rounded player who passes, rebounds and plays excellent perimeter defense. He's just not the kind of star who will make the difference for a young, ensemble roster.
There's a reason for those beliefs.
Parting ways with Iggy just makes too much sense. It may not happen imminently, but that doesn't mean it won't.
Unless the 76ers are rolling in January and February, they'd be wise to assess the trade market and get in something in return for a departure that's seemingly inevitable.