It's almost a month into the NBA season and we've been greeted with plenty of surprises (New Orleans' impressive run, Micheal Beasley and Darko Milicic's statistical resurgences in Minnesota, Utah's nightly double-digit come-from-behind victory) and disappointments (Oh, who am I kidding? Not too many people are disappointed as much as they are delighted with Miami's early-season struggles).
Almost every team has played 15 percent of the regular-season schedule. So that means everyone's favorite topic—trade rumors-—will be creeping into headlines more and more as the contenders are separated from the middle-of-the-pack teams in the next few months.
Thanks to the departure of LeBron James from Cleveland, the antics of Carmelo Anthony, and the supposed requests/demands of Chris Paul, this summer set the stage for superstars and marquee players to switch teams as easily as low-to-mid level players.
It seems inevitable that a few big-name guys will be dealt before February's deadline. And the name that has been on the watch list of several contenders dating back to last season isn't Anthony or someone like Steve Nash, but Philadelphia 76ers' swingman Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala signed a six-year, $80-million contract with Philly in 2008 and is owed $40.6 million through 2013, with a $15.9 million player option in 2014. The Sixers were eager to pair him with free agent Elton Brand in hopes of creating a dynamic inside-out tandem that would lead the team back to prominence in the Eastern Conference.
We all know how that's worked out.
But Iguodala's strong play in the FIBA World Championships—in which he was utilized primarily as a defender, rebounder and role player, rather than a guy who creates for himself and others with the ball in his hands a majority of the time—showed he could have substantial value and thrive as the second or third wheel on a perennial playoff team.
When Philadelphia drafted Evan Turner second in the 2010 NBA Draft, it only further complicated Iguodala's future as a Sixer. Do they go forward with two players who have a very similar skill set or do they cut their losses with Iguodala, stockpile young talent and draft picks, and go forward with a foundation based around this year's No. 2 pick?
If the Sixers do decide to part with him, they won't find a shortage of buyers. Here's a quick glance at five teams that have been linked with Iguodala—not just in the last few weeks, but dating back to last year's trade deadline—and their chances of landing Philly's versatile small forward (starting in alphabetical order).