May 8, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT
At the end of the season, Andre Iguodala was asked if he looked forward to playing with the 76ers next season, and his response was surprisingly vague for such a softball question. Here is what he told Kate Fagan of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I expect to be back in the NBA,” Iguodala said after the team’s season-ending loss to the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play ball. This has been a great ride so far, not just with the Sixers, just playing basketball in general. I’m really looking forward to getting some rest this summer, just letting my body recuperate and get back to 100 percent, and I’m really looking forward to next year being my best year in the league.”
That doesn’t sound like a guy who wants to be there next year. And that feeling may be mutual. He and coach Doug Collins are not on the same page, and for a team trying to rebuild the $42.3 million he is owed over the next three seasons is a big anchor. Even if they would miss his 14.1 points and 6.3 assists per game.
Fagan says the team is looking to move him this offseason. She mentioned a couple of possible deals.
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….
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.
On one level the Clippers trade makes sense as they are looking for a three, and Iggy would be a very good fit. But it means convincing Clippers owner Donald Sterling to take on a big free agent contract. Plus, the Clippers will want to think through how Iggy will fit with their young core in the locker room. The Clippers really like their chemistry right now and want to be careful about who is brought in. They already had Barron Davis.
Whatever the deal, look for Iguodala to be in a new uniform next season.
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