Andre Iguodala Trade Speculation: The Top 5 Potential Suitors for A.I. in 2011
As the 76ers">Philadelphia 76ers enter their offseason after a first-round playoff loss at the hands of the Miami Heat, guard Andre Iguodala may very well have played his last game in a Sixers uniform.
Talking to reporters after the Game 5 loss in which he scored 22 points with 10 rebounds and four assists but missed a crucial shot down three with 16 seconds left in the game, Iguodala said:
“I expect to be back in the NBA...This has been a great ride so far, not just with the Sixers, just playing basketball in general. I’m really looking forward to getting some rest this summer, just letting my body recuperate and get back to 100 percent, and I’m really looking forward to next year being my best year in the league.”
Interpret that quote as you may, but Iguodala’s return to Philly can definitely be seen as up in the air, though he has made no formal request for a trade this summer.
If 76ers front office does indeed decide to pull the trigger on a trade that would send A.I. out of town, here are the five best potential suitors for No. 9 this summer.
5. New York Knicks
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In a deal that would most likely displace Landry Fields to the bench, Iggy would provide a powerful defensive presence for a team that has been criticized at times for their lack of defensive proficiency.
The Sixers could ask for a few different pieces in return, including Fields or Shawne Williams, but the terms of the deal could become more clear if the two teams engage in deep talk this summer.
4. Minnesota Timberwolves
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This trade scenario may come with some opposition, but in reality, it could work for both sides.
While it has been a known fact that A.I. isn’t happy in Philly because he “just wants to compete for titles,” he may get that chance if and when the Sixers trade him to the Minnesota Timberwoves this summer.
The 76ers currently sit at pick No. 16, and they may be looking to move up in order to snag a young franchise stud.
The Timberwolves have the second overall pick, and if they value Iguodala enough, they may deem him worth that No. 2 pick.
The Sixers have a nice crop of young talent already on their squad, including Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams, so it may be in their best interest to ditch Iggy for a guy like Derrick Williams or big man Enes Kanter.
With the No. 2 pick, the ‘Wolves have many options available to them, one including trading the pick away for a veteran shooting presence.
Cue the Iguodala trade rumors.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder
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OKC surprised many people in 2010, going 55-27 and making it all the way to the Western Conference finals, but now it’s time for the front office to do some tweaking to the team in order to make that final step to the NBA Finals.
One possible solution could be trading for 76ers star Andre Iguodala.
In return for A.I., the Thunder may have to throw in top names like James Harden and Cole Aldrich, but that shouldn’t be a factor in not getting this deal done.
The Thunder should be in a win-now mindset, especially after the amazing season they put together this year, and Iggy could be that one piece to their starting lineup that could put them over the edge in the Western Conference.
2. Los Angeles Clippers
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The Los Angeles Clippers should be in the market to form their own variation of a “Big 3” centered on Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, and the final piece could be Sixers guard Andre Iguodala.
In return, the Sixers could ask for All-Star center Chris Kaman and a young role player like Al-Farouq Aminu or Willie Warren.
Each team would win if this deal does get pounded out because Iguodala would plug into the small forward position, which the Clippers have been looking to fill, while the 76ers would be getting a veteran presence and young pieces to build around for the future.
The Clippers would immediately become respected in the Western Conference with the possibility of making a lot of noise come playoff time.
1. Golden State Warriors
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Andre Iguodala offers a lot to any team willing to trade for him.
He plays a very good defense while taking on the best scorer from the opposing team and also flashing his offensive prowess with his above-average ball-handling skills and the ability to cleanly distribute the ball to his teammates.
While the Sixers will be much better if they keep A.I. for the future, it’s more than likely he’ll be gone this summer, and the Golden State Warriors may be the best candidate to acquire his services.
While it may not be popular with the fanbase, trading Monta Ellis for A.I. could work for both teams, as each player would plug in at the 2 spot for their new respective teams.
Ellis had an up-and-down season in 2010, scoring as many as 46 points a game and as few as single-digit points a game while still averaging over 40 minutes per game.
The 76ers have an abundance of players playing the same position as A.I., so it would be wise to let him loose in return for some younger talent.