Andre Iguodala: 76ers Are Smart to Keep Him

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 10:  Andre Iguodala #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives down court in the final seconds of the game while being pursued by Taj Gibson #22 and Luol Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 10, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers won 79-78. 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 Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The NBA offseason has been full of trade rumors, but the Philadelphia 76ers killed all rumors of a possible Andre Iguodala trade and will begin the season with their star player.'s John Finger reports the 76ers are building around Iguodala rather than trading him. The team will keep the forward and try to make a run in the postseason with him. 

While Iguodala is representing the United States in the Olympics, Philadelphia reportedly had him on the trading block. Now they have decided to keep him and will continue to look to improve the roster.

The Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics are the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference, but injuries to any of those teams could mean a deep run in the playoffs for Philadelphia.

The 76ers managed to upset the Bulls when Derrick Rose went down with an injury, and they pushed the Celtics to seven games in the next round. The talent is there, but they need a few breaks to go their way.

There is no rush to trade Iguodala because he is signed for this season and has a player option for next season.

The team can try to convince him to stay or continue to negotiate with teams that Iguodala would be willing to stay with. His option gives him leverage on the team, so a deadline deal may be in the future.

As the team prepares for next season, Iguodala will come back from London knowing what it takes to win.


Benefits the Team

Trading Iguodala in the summer does the team no good unless they could bring back established players. However, draft picks may be more valuable for the future.

Philadelphia can use the veteran forward to get off to a good start to the season and put the team in position to make the postseason. The team easily made the playoffs last season, so a good start would allow them to make the playoffs after dealing Iguodala at the trade deadline.

Keeping the star long-term will be difficult, but there is no benefit to getting rid of him right now. The team would struggle all season without him, and they would be better off keeping him for the first half of the season.

The 76ers managed to push the Celtics to seven games last season, so they will be a difficult out this season after gaining experience. Iguodala can still sign an extension with the team, and a fast start by the team would go a long way in helping the cause.


Trade Value

Iguodala has the ability to take over a game or change the course of a team's season. The 76ers will be able to get more in return if they wait until during the season to deal him. 

A team that is a player away from contending for the title or making the playoffs will be willing to give up more because there is more urgency during the season. With teams adding multiple stars, the lesser teams will want to add a player like Iguodala to stay in contention.

The trade deadline allows a team with an important piece to control the market. Iguodala could try to force his way to a team, but the 76ers have the final say. He has not made any demands to this point, so all teams are in play.

Trading draft picks will not do the team any good right now, and they will be better off holding on to the forward right now. Philadelphia still has a chance to keep him, but Iguodala's value will be higher if he performs at a high level through February.