NBA Trade Rumors: Best Options for Sixers Amid Andre Iguodala Firestorm

Yueh Ho@@YuehHoCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2011

NBA Trade Rumors: Best Options for Sixers Amid Andre Iguodala Firestorm

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    Andre Iguodala, hailed as AI 2 ever since he showed potential in Philadelphia, has had a successful career—but not one without criticism. Despite being the best player on the 76ers the past few seasons as well as the current star, he never truly blossomed into the superstar Sixers fans hoped he would become.

    Iguodala is a valuable player, as he plays lockdown defense and can drive hard to the basket. However, he is inconsistent offensively and his jump shot leaves much to be desired. Sixers fans are even more frustrated by the fact that he demands the ball in clutch situations, but he rarely converts.

    And the team suffers as a result.

    In my mind, it is clear Iguodala must be traded for the best of the team. While Iguodala is a fine player, he is not the superstar the Sixers need, and offensively, he is lacking. As long as he is the No. 1 man on this team, he will continue to hold back the development of the team’s young talent, especially that of second-round pick Evan Turner, who would slide into Iguodala’s spot at small forward. And Iguodala’s $44 million salary can be freed from the shoulders of the team, allowing more moves to be made.

    With all that in mind, here are five options the 76ers should consider if they decide to trade Iguodala.

5. Iguodala to Warriors for Monta Ellis

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    This deal would be very beneficial for the 76ers for a few reasons. One of the biggest holes on the team is a prolific scorer. Yes, many would be quick to point out Louis Williams, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young all can have big nights, but not a single player on the 76ers roster scores consistently.

    As a result, while the team plays solid defense—consistently limiting the Miami Heat under 100 points in the postseason—they lacked a dominant scorer and therefore were eventually edged four times by LeBron and co.

    Monta Ellis would fulfill that role. As a scorer, he can keep up with anyone in this league. The downside of acquiring Ellis would be that he plays poor defense and is known purely for his offensive talent, unlike Iguodala.

    But the rest of the 76ers roster has played well defensively under the tutelage of Doug Collins in games Iguodala had missed. Any lack of defensive pressure will be well worth it if it means adding someone who can consistently put up 20-plus points per night, as well as instantly become a fan favorite. 

4. Iguodala to Clippers for Chris Kaman

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    Chris Kaman has similar weaknesses as Monta Ellis in that he is known primarily for offensive production, rather than as a stout defender. But that may be enough to make the trade worth it.

    The current starting center is Spencer Hawes, and Hawes has been one of the most inconsistent players on the entire roster. While he does possess the ability to score, his scoring is not consistent. And defensively, Hawes is very poor. Having a more potent scorer to lock up the center position is a must on this team—somehow or another.

    Kaman may not be the most ideal man to fill the spot, but the trade would be worth it. Kaman is very injury-prone and that can be problematic. But when he is healthy he is a scoring machine, putting up 18.5 points per game in 2009.

    Center is one of the weakest positions on the Sixers roster, and if the possibility to acquire an All-Star like Kaman is out there, it should be at least considered. 

3. Iguodala for Draft Picks

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    Forty-four million dollars over three years is a lot of cap space, and many of the trade possibilities for the 76ers seem to be less than ideal. So the best option may be for this young team, which consists of young stars Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young, to continue to play and develop rapport together.

    There are teams out there that may be willing to sign Iguodala if they are hoping to contend immediately for a championship. The Denver Nuggets could certainly use his services and have always been fond of Iguodala. The Boston Celtics could possibly make a deal for him to make the most out of their window of opportunity.

    And this option would allow the 76ers to bide their time and wait for a free agent or draftee they like. The Sixers are a good team, but not an elite one, and it will still be some time until they can begin to consistently contend for an NBA championship.

    The best option, hard as it may be for fans, may be to do away with large contracts and let the team slowly grow together.

2. Iguodala for Young Talent or Expiring Contracts

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    This option is less ideal for the Sixers, as they would be required to take on additional salaries, but it is more feasible than getting rid of Iguodala for draft picks alone.

    Iguodala, as talented as he is, is still overpaid, and any team would be prudent when taking on such a large contract. It would be much easier to swing a deal if it also meant they could do away with large contracts of their own on their benches.

    If the Sixers do not deal for Ellis, they may send Iguodala for role players like Dorell Wright and Andris Biedrins, who could contribute to three-point shooting and center depth, respectively. The Mavericks may take on Iguodala in exchange for an expiring contract like DeShawn Stevenson's.

    Many options would certainly be available if the Sixers were willing to take on another team’s baggage. In the long run, it would allow the young talent on the Sixers to continue to build chemistry and develop.

1. Iguodala for Lamar Odom

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    This trade appeared to have been in the works in late June and has since died down, as some “sources” claim it is no longer in the works. But as no fans truly know the real situation and as the Lakers would be willing to part with Odom for a player they believed was an upgrade, the Sixers should seriously consider the deal.

    Odom is aging, but there are fewer versatile players in this league. Odom can play almost all positions and could fit right in wherever the Sixers needed him—whether it is at power forward, small forward or even center. He can play defense, which is something the current Sixers big men lack.

    He can also score, which is something that the current Sixers starter at center, Spencer Hawes, does not do consistently.

    And most importantly, Odom is in the final year of his contract. He would supply a veteran presence and be a solid fit, likely at small forward, while the Sixers groomed their potential small forward of the future Evan Turner.

    If there is any truth to this trade, the Sixers would not be unwise in pulling the trigger. It would be mutually beneficial to both sides and allow Iguodala to return to his hometown of Los Angeles as well, where he may be motivated to help a Los Angeles Lakers team once again return to its former glory.