Neil Olshey and the Los Angeles Clippers are looking to make moves before the much anticipated NBA lockout after the current CBA ends on June 30th, nearly a week after the NBA Draft, according to Eric Pincus at Hoopsworld. Recently, Pincus along with numerous other outlets reported that the Clippers are looking to swap Chris Kaman for Andre Iguodala of the Philadelphia 76ers.
Whether those reports are pure speculation by writers, or the teams actually had discussions to swap the former All-Star center with one of the best small forwards in the league, the Clippers should take their time. It is being widely reported that the 76ers want more than just Kaman in return for their franchise player. Olshey is in a situation with one of the best up-and-coming duos in the league with Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon, nice potential in DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe and Al-Farouq Aminu, as well as cap space and the highly coveted unprotected 2012 first-round pick that the Minnesota Timberwolves owe the Clippers as a result of the Marko Jaric-Sam Cassell swap from eight years ago.
For the 76ers, it is understandable why they would want more in return for Iguodala than Kaman, who has had injury issues and is a possible rental. When he is healthy, Kaman is among the leagues best centers and has worked well with the 76ers' current starting power forward, Elton Brand, and is a huge upgrade over Spencer Hawes. The move also allows the 76ers to play Thaddeus Young at his more natural position, opening up playing time for Evan Turner, the coveted prospect that the franchise selected at No. 2. Reports have also shown that the 76ers are in trade talks to swap Iguodala with the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis.
For the Clippers, the trade as speculated would make a lot of sense as it won't dip into any current cap space in order to retain Jordan. That is why Kaman is considered to be expendable, as it would give the Clippers the small forward that they have been needing in years past. While Iguodala is not an out of the world three-point shooter, he is still proficient (32.3% for his career) enough to help spread the floor. Plus, with Maurice Williams and Gordon on the Clippers roster, they already have their knock-down shooters.
Where Igoudala will really help the team out will be on the defensive end, as he is known to be one of the league's best defenders along with his ability to bring the ball up the court, giving the Clippers four players in the potential starting five that has that ability, letting them run up and down the court more often then not.
The question comes down to what more do the 76ers want in this trade. Is it just Al-Farouq Aminu, a small forward prospect who is thought to have great potential. Or do they want the highly coveted Wolves' first-round pick. Maybe they want both in return. Either way, Olshey has to know that the ball is on the Clippers side of the court at the moment as the Clippers have plenty of other options, be it trading Kaman for another small forward or keeping him until he expires. They can use cap space to go after Tayshaun Prince to be the small forward piece that they need and use Kaman to strengthen the bench.
Either way, the Clippers are in great shape with two young studs in Griffin and Gordon, a good mixture of youth and veterans, a highly coveted pick in the 2012 draft. They just need to add winners, but patience will be the key.