While the overwhelming impression from the Philadelphia 76ers organization seems to be that Andre Iguodala will remain a Philadelphia 76er next season, staying in Philly might not be the smartest decision for the team.
Even though talk surrounding many of these potential deals has died down—largely because of the lockout—the Sixers should not ignore the trade offers they will inevitably get when the NBA returns to business as usual.
Iguodala has been a solid player for Philadelphia, but under the right circumstances, the 76ers might be better off trading their longtime forward.
Here are five reasons trading Iggy would be a good idea.
In August of 2008, Andre Iguodala signed a contract with the Philadelphia 76ers that would pay him $80 million over six years.
That's superstar money.
Sure, he's not making Kobe Bryant money, but the $13 million plus he's scheduled to make next season is as much as Kevin Durant is scheduled to make and more than Manu Ginobili.
Iguodala has been good for the Sixers, but probably not worth the kind of money he's making. Among NBA small forwards, Iguodala ranked 13th in points, scoring only 14.1 points per contest, but is the fifth highest-paid small forward in the league.
Iguodala's contract definitely isn't the worst on the team (that award goes to Elton Brand) but his trade value is the highest it will ever be and if the Sixers want to relieve some cap space, now is the time to trade him.
As well as the 76ers performed last year in their first round playoff series against the Heat—winning one game and keeping most close against the eventual Eastern Conference champs—it's pretty clear that they won't be contending for an NBA Championship with the team they have.
That being said, the Sixers might be smart to begin preparing for a run in the future. One of the first steps in that process is letting Iguodala go.
Even though Andre Iguodala and the young, up-and-coming players (Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday) have become pretty close over the course of their time on the 76ers, an Iguodala trade might be best.
For one, Iguodala has said that he wants to win and as I explained in the last slide, that's going to be difficult with the team Philadelphia has right now.
In the case of Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday, the young guards have really started to come into their own. So, although they Iguodala played pretty well together in 2010, at some point the 76ers will need to transition into making the Sixers Turner and Holiday's team.
Philadelphia could try to do that with Iguodala still on the team, but they would be better off allowing Turner and Holiday to grow into their own with other pieces around them.
Because the Philadelphia 76ers don't look like they will be contenders anytime soon with the elite squads in the Eastern Conference standing in their way, grabbing younger talent in exchange for Iguodala would set them up for a run a few years down the line.
Philadelphia has a lot of good pieces in place right now, but it will likely take more than one player to put them over the edge.
So while trading Iguodala for Monta Ellis, Lamar Odom, Rudy Gay, Chris Kaman or another mid-tier star might sound better, the Sixers would be smarter to get a couple young, high-potential players.
Nicolas Batum or Al-Farouq Aminu would be examples of the type of players Philly could go for.
These moves would allow a young 76ers team to grow and mature together so that they could one day make a playoff push.
OK, throw everything I've said until now out the window on this one.
Another route the 76ers could go is to free up as much cap space as possible and hope to land a big-name free agent in 2012.
Trade away Iguodala and Elton Brand for some young, cheap, proficient role players, free up $30 million or so in cap space and do everything you can to convince Dwight Howard and Chris Paul to come play in Philadelphia with Evan Turner.
It's a long-shot, but it might be worth trying.
The bottom line is that if the Sixers return the same team this year, they'll be lucky to see the same results they saw last season.
Philadelphia is caught in limbo with a couple bad contracts and inferior talent, so until they make some kind of move, they won't see much postseason success.