NBA Trade Speculation: 10 Teams with Enough Assets to Land Andre Iguodala
The Andre Iguodala trade drama is just not what the Philadelphia 76ers need or want this summer. The organization has placed him on the block, and prior to the NBA lockout teams began to scrape together assets and make offers to land the veteran star.
Iguodala brings great versatility to the court, a trait that every organization covets. His game is very well rounded; he can defend the perimeter, score, pass, and rebound, and was second to LeBron James in triple-doubles last season. In 2010-2011, he averaged 14.1 PPG, 6.3 APG, and 5.8 RPG.
More importantly, he takes on the tough assignments of guarding the opposing team's best player, and is capable of running his team as a point forward.
Iguodala's defense alone makes him a desirable piece for any team, but the fact that he can also be the No. 1 or No. 2 offensive option on any team is what makes him a star.
The 27-year-old swingman has a manageable contract as well, so you can bet that once the lockout is over, a deal will quickly be reached.
Here are 10 teams that can offer enough to the 76ers to pry Iguodala away.
(Note, not all of these are real scenarios or even rumors, this is a list of teams that CAN obtain Iggy. Not all of them are actually in the market to do so.)
Minnesota Timberwolves: Michael Beasley, Draft Picks
With the drafting of combo forward Derrick Williams No. 2 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves basically made offensive powerhouse Michael Beasley an expendable asset. With their assortment of talent, they still lack a solid defensive presence to help Kevin Love without hurting the offense.
The Philadelphia 76ers, on the other hand, are desperately in need of a more explosive offensive threat, and would like to clear up some cap room. Iguodala would relieve pressure on Kevin Love defensively, as well as add rebounding, and since Beasley's contract is about half the value of Iggy's the 76ers would get the cap relief that they want.
Obviously with Iguodala being the more complete player, the 76ers would not be willing to just swap the two players straight up. Luckily for the Timberwolves, they have the draft picks needed to make their package competitive.
The 76ers get the offensive addition they need, and the Timberwolves add some much needed defense and star power.
Oaklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook
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The Oklahoma City Thunder don't really need anything else to succeed. They are one of the NBA's youngest teams, coming off a playoff run that got them to the fifth game of the Western Conference Finals against the eventual champions.
However, given the recent speculation that Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant cannot coexist, this trade inevitably comes to mind. A swap of Westbrook for Iguodala would actually be perfect for the 76ers. Westbrook would bring all of the offensive firepower they are missing in the backcourt, while also freeing up cap space. His explosiveness is exactly what the 76ers need on an offense that is anything but. They lose some defense, but that really isn't saying much. The rest of the team is solid defensively.
This scenario would probably see a change in OKC's lineup with James Harden playing the point, Iguodala playing the 2, while Serge Ibaka, Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins maintain their current positions.
Again, this is a purely speculative scenario, but the trade is even, and benefits both sides.
New Orleans Hornets: Chris Paul
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The New Orleans Hornets are in turmoil and looking for a change. Chris Paul is all but guaranteed to leave them for the 2012 free agency market, and they are working desperately to make sure that they at least come out with something to show for it.
At this point, it is basically a sure thing that Chris Paul will be traded, and Andre Iguodala is one of the best players on the trading block.
Obviously, being the NBA's premier point guard, Chris Paul would command more than Andre Iguodala from Philadelphia. The 76ers would actually find themselves as the ones needing extra assets for this trade.
However strange the scenario might be, if the Hornets expressed an interest in Iguodala, Philadelphia should definitely scramble to make a package for Chris Paul. He would change that ball club into a contender overnight.
Orlando Magic: Jason Richardson, Draft Picks, Players
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The main point of interest in an Orlando trade for Philadelphia is Jason Richardson. He brings a solid backcourt scoring threat, good offensive versatility, and most important of all, an expiring contract. The Philadelphia 76ers can use that to negotiate a contract that allows them more wiggle room to bring in other players. His offensive firepower would be put to good use on the 76ers, especially with a departure Iguodala.
Los Angeles Lakers: Lamar Odom
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The Los Angeles Lakers are always one of the best teams in the NBA, and with their core players beginning to age, they need to look towards the future. There has been discussion of a possible Odom-Iguodala swap, maybe with some lesser players changing hands as well.
The only problem is that this trade does not address the glaring needs of the Philadelphia 76ers. Odom is an all-around forward capable of contributing anywhere on the court, but age is an issue, as is the fact that the 76ers need a better offensive presence in the backcourt. Still, he is a wily veteran and quite capable of putting points on the board. He would add depth to Philadelphia's frontcourt, which would relieve some pressure on their lacking backcourt.
Until a trade is made after the lockout, speculation will continue.
Atlanta Hawks: Josh Smith
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The Atlanta Hawks have their own all-purpose guy out on the trading block. They are looking to move star forward Josh Smith, who has been very efficient for them, averaging at least 15 PPG and 7-8 RPG every year since 2006.
Smith plays a similar role with the Atlanta Hawks to Andre Iguodala's role on the 76ers, albeit with less perimeter defense and better shot blocking. A trade of these two would be a straight up swap, Smith for Iguodala and done.
You might ask what the point is of swapping such similar players; just remember that both of these guys would like a change of scenery, and both teams made the playoffs last season.
Swapping the two of them ensures minimal loss for both sides, both in talent and in salary cap space.
(Iguodala's contract: three years, $44 million, Josh Smith's contract: two years, $25.6 million)
Memphis Grizzlies: O.J Mayo, Draft Picks
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O.J Mayo is exactly the type of player the Philadelphia 76ers are looking for. He is a relatively inexpensive backcourt scoring threat with a great three-ball. The 76ers have good inside scoring and solid defense, but lack a serious outside threat to complement their guards.
O.J Mayo would allow them to fill that void, and the Memphis Grizzlies would be sure to sweeten the deal with some picks or possibly some role players. Philly's offensive prowess would grow considerably with Mayo, who is still very young and has a whole lot of potential to unlock.
Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Kaman
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This trade has been speculated for quite some time. Chris Kaman became expendable to the Los Angeles Clippers with the emergence of the freak athlete DeAndre Jordan. Like Al Jefferson of the Utah Jazz, Kaman would bring a legitimate offensive threat to the frontcourt, which would either translate into his becoming the main offensive weapon, or allowing Thaddeus Young to wreak havoc.
In a straight up trade, the 76ers would probably suffer a little due to Kaman's health issues and age, so the Clippers would probably send over some extra incentives to make the deal more enticing for Philadelphia.
Utah Jazz: Al Jefferson, Draft Picks
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Al Jefferson is not exactly what I've described thus far as ideal for Philadelphia, but he actually would be a great fit. The 76ers could use some talent in their backcourt yes, but Elton Brand is not getting any younger or any better, and they could use a legitimate scoring threat up front, just as much as in the back.
A young and versatile center, Jefferson is capable of bringing the Philadelphia 76ers 20-10 a night, with potential for 24-12 if he has the right amount of support around him. His defense is weak, but the 76ers are a strong defensive team with or without Iguodala, so that is of little consequence. Jefferson's rebounding ability alone more than makes up for his lacking defense anyway.
The Utah Jazz would also be able to offer a draft pick via the Minnesota Timberwolves to sweeten the deal. The 76ers really couldn't go wrong with this trade.
Golden State Warriors: Monta Ellis
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This is probably the most talked about scenario in the Andre Iguodala saga. Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors is the perfect answer to the needs of the Philadelphia 76ers.
He is an extremely efficient scoring threat (24.1 PPG), and can play either the 2 or the 1. He brings everything to the table that the Philadelphia 76ers are missing, and he does it without gutting the team. His scoring capability more than makes up for his lack of defense, especially on a strong defensive team like the 76ers.
This would be a straight up swap, Iggy for Monta. Both sides benefit, both players are happy, everybody wins.
Once the lockout is over, look for this trade to take place.