The NBA season is underway and through just seven games, trade speculation has struck the 2-5 Philadelphia 76ers in regards to the face of their franchise, Andre Iguodala. Iguodala, who is coming off of a gold medal-winning summer with Team USA at the FIBA World Championship, has already been mentioned in a number of possible deals.
Last year his name popped up in relation to a deal that would have sent Amar'e Stoudemire to the Sixers. There was also speculation over the offseason that teams like Houston, the LA Clippers, Phoenix, Cleveland and Chicago all had some level of interest in the 6'7" swingman out of Arizona.
Following all of that speculation and his subpar start to the 2010-11 season, it only makes sense to wonder what type of value Iguodala has on the open market. The Sixers are coming off of a win over the Knicks in which Iguodala sat out, so it only seems natural to wonder if they could function without him. Many believe that it would free up the Sixers offense and provide playing time to Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner, which would hopefully fast-track his development.
Let's take a look at some teams that could use a player like Andre Iguodala and analyze what the 76ers should ask for in return.
One of the first teams that should inquire about Iguodala is the Houston Rockets. Houston is currently 1-5 and they could definitely benefit from the presence of one more skilled wing player that could strengthen their defense and also get to the rim to make plays.
When dealing with Houston, the Sixers should not budge unless a few specific names are mentioned. The first would be a straight-up deal for Kevin Martin. Martin would give the Sixers a shooter on the wing that they really need and would also be able to run up and down with their fast pace.
If not Martin, the Sixers should look into some type of package deal that would include some bigs. The problem is that Houston does not really have any bigs who are playing particularly well right now.
One team that would be particularly intriguing would be the LA Clippers. The Clippers, like always, are struggling and are currently 1-6. They have gotten great production from their rookie big man Blake Griffin and one could only wonder when they will look to complement him at forward with an athletic small forward.
Andre Iguodala would actually be an interesting piece to put alongside Griffin. Iguodala has turned into a talented passer and could set up Griffin very well while slashing to the basket. The amount of well-timed alley-oops would increase in LA immediately with both Iguodala and Griffin on the team. Being that LA already has good outside shooting from Eric Gordon, an athletic player like Iguodala could not hurt.
If I'm the Sixers, I would ask for Chris Kaman immediately. Kaman would be perfect and would improve the Sixers' post play dramatically. Kaman is a good defender and a very skilled offensive center whose production has diminished with the emergence of Blake Griffin.
With Elton Brand playing much like he did back in his Clipper days, why not bring in Kaman to put back alongside Brand? If the Clippers were steadfast on keeping Kaman. I would inquire about a possible package deal that would include at least DeAndre Jordan and Randy Foye.
One destination that has to be explored would also be a possible deal with Denver for the services of Carmelo Anthony. Sure, this deal is a long shot but if we are analyzing Iguodala deals, why not include Anthony?
This trade would take a lot of pieces to get done aside from Iguodala, but if the Sixers are interested in pulling off just a two-team deal with Denver to get Anthony, it would probably cost them at least Iguodala along with probably Thaddeus Young, Marreese Speights and probably a first-rounder or two.
If I'm the Sixers, I would stay away from a deal like this only because I think they are moving in the right direction as a franchise and a deal like this would only guarantee you a season with Anthony before he bolts to join some super trio.
If you are going to deal Iguodala, get some pieces that could help down the line. Talk to teams that have assets, particularly bigs, that could help the team improve now, but also grow in the future.
Personally, I do not think Iguodala is done growing as a player and I'm not ready to pull the plug on A.I. 2's days in Philly. However, it is clear that there is a logjam at the wing spots and a deal to open that up may not be such a bad idea.
The bottom line is that the Sixers should not settle. Iguodala may not be a star but he is an asset that a lot of teams would like to have to pair with their star. The Sixers should realize that with or without Iguodala, they are not a championship team yet, and therefore there is no need to rush and make a deal just for the sake of making a deal.