“I expect to be back in the NBA.” This was Andre Iguodala‘s response to the question, “Do you want to play for the 76ers next year?” after losing to the Heat in the first round of the playoffs. Not exactly a reassuring answer that the Philly faithful (that like Iggy) want to hear. And according to Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer, while Iguodala hasn’t asked to be traded, that doesn’t mean the team won’t be looking to move him this summer.
It seems ever since Iguodala signed his six-year, $80 million contract extension with the Sixers almost three years ago that there’s been a metaphorical “For Sale” sign in front of his locker. As with any player and contract, NBA GMs have different views. Fagan notes that for Iguodala and the $56 million remaining on his contract, those views are split between “paid appropriately” and “overpaid.” With that, there are two moves they could make:
Some league folks have hinted that the Sixers and Memphis Grizzlies could discuss a swap of Iguodala for Memphis’ injured star Rudy Gay. The Grizzlies are making an impact in the Western Conference playoffs without Gay, who went down with a shoulder injury late in the season.
The salaries match: Iguodala will make $13.5 million next season, while Gay will make $13.6.
Gay is under contract through the 2014-15 season, meaning the Sixers would take on an extra year of salary (approximately $20 million) in such a trade.
But the biggest question is: Should the Sixers trade Iguodala for a similarly skilled player? Or should their focus be on an area of need – the center spot, for example – while also opening up minutes on the wing for returning sophomore Evan Turner?
Another trade that was discussed last season involved trading Iguodala to the Los Angeles Clippers for big man Chris Kaman.
Kaman has only one year remaining on his contract – $12.2 million for the 2011-12 season. He also would provide talent and experience in the low post, while relieving the franchise of a good chunk of the remaining millions on Iguodala’s contract.
Between these two deals, I feel like the one for Kaman is more realistic. While the Grizzlies are overachieving in the playoffs right now without Gay, that doesn’t mean that they’d be better off without him – or with Iguodala for that matter. At the same time, while it’s widely known that the Clippers are interested in dealing Kaman this summer, they want to apply that cap space towards re-signing unrestricted free agent DeAndre Jordan to a lucrative longterm deal.
What do you think? If you’re Philly, what would you do?
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