Andre Iguodala is here to stay, at least for the 2012-2013 season. According to a report by Comcast Sports Net in Philadelphia, a trade "won't happen" in the off-season, leading to the small forward's return to Philadelphia this fall.
While NBA trade rumors have been pushed aside due to the Olympics, I am taking this report with a grain of salt. I still think Iguodala could be moved, and anything can happen, for obvious reasons. Just take one look at the Dwight Howard rumors to know why I think this way and you'll understand. I think Howard has been traded about thirty different times this summer, yet I still see his name on the Magic roster. All it takes is one rumor or option to come true for Iguodala's departure.
I am looking forward to Iguodala's return, however. The 76ers have cemented the team by adding Nick Young and Dorell Wright, two strong perimeter shooters, along with re-signing Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen. While I would not have signed Hawes to the two-year deal he received, it is not a franchise-crippling contract. The Sixers gave themselves flexibility to maneuever this off-season by amnestying Elton Brand's contract, which took money off the books to allow them to sign Young and have room for Wright and the re-signing of Hawes.
And, while the team may have wasted money on Kwame Brown, I am fine with the concept of the move for Brown; I just would have spent the two years and $6 million on a player not named Kwame Brown. The team has set themselves up to be competitive in 2012-2013, yet be open in free agency next summer, when there is a solid crop of players available, like Howard, Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum, and others. If the Sixers totally tank this season, they can always trade Iguodala to another team and improve that way, but that would really take away the allure for a potential free agent to come to Philly.
His five-year deal has left some questions to be answered, but I've been fine with Iguodala over the years, and even though he's not the most outgoing guy and tends to keep to himself, coach Doug Collins has reportedly grown a respect for Iguodala the player and the person. Iguodala, who just completed his eighth year in the league, should not be looked at as a player to get rid of. He should be looked at as a player to keep.
The Sixers need someone like Iguodala to move them forward. All of these short-term contracts (like the one to Nick Young) allow them a lot of options. Will they re-sign Jrue Holiday to a big deal? That's another question. Will they be active players for Dwight Howard, and is that even a possibility? If not, where do they go from there?
There are plenty of questions without answers for the Sixers right now. They just need to go into this season, see if they can repeat their success from this past year, and build on it. The Sixers' plan for the most part, appears to be pretty sound. As of now, I would predict that they win 45 games or so next season, just because of the athletic ability they have added to the roster. When Collins was only able to go about eight or nine deep last year, it seemed to frustrate him. Now the Sixers appear to be deeper on the bench, which is a good thing. It also means that Iguodala is here to stay, and even though he is a free agent after this coming season, he should be somebody the team looks to re-sign. They will have cap space available, and the new ownership appears willing to spend the money to make the team competitive.
They simply could not afford to get one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals and then turn their backs on the fans by trading a key piece like Iguodala for draft picks or unproven talent. I think it would have been the wrong move. We heard plenty of rumors that they did try to do such a thing, and I just didn't get it. I would have only traded Iguodala for a veteran piece. Give the guy another year in the city, and see if there is an amicable partnership moving forward. If Iguodala doesn't like the city or the direction of the team, he can move on. We simply don't know what's going on inside the mind of the guy who came in as the de facto replacement for a Sixer legend in Allen Iverson in terms of being the face of the franchise. For now, Iguodala is a Sixer, and will go into the season as one, from what's been said. Whether he remains as one through the end of the year will be indicative of whether or not the team is a contender or a pretender.
Sources: CSNPhilly.com/John Finger
Victor Filoromo is a featured contributor for Yahoo! and also contributes to PhuturePhillies.com, a Phillies' prospect blog. He grew up just outside of Philadelphia, and enjoys Philadelphia sports, media, and politics. You can follow him on Twitter @victorfiloromo.
- Sports & Recreation
- Andre Iguodala
- Dwight Howard
- Kwame Brown