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The 76ers and Golden State Warriors have discussed a swap of swingman Andre Iguodala for shooting guard Monta Ellis. The potential trade is a straight-up swap because the salaries of the two players match closely enough that no other players need be involved.
Although there is no indication from any source that this deal is imminent, this is a trade that – if done – would be executed sooner rather than later. The timing of this trade is important because the Warriors’ draft strategy (they hold the No. 11 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft) would be altered if the trade were executed as stated above. The 2011 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 23, but almost all NBA teams are currently in the process of working out draft prospects. For the Warriors, trading their starting shooting guard would, by all accounts, require them to shift focus in the draft.
Again, this trade is not in its final stages, but there seems to be motivation to get it done – if it is to be executed at all – in the next 10 days. One factor to consider is Golden State’s recent hiring of head coach Mark Jackson and whether his addition, and his input, will affect a trade discussion that was already in motion.
This trade makes sense for both teams because the Sixers need a consistent perimeter scorer, while the Warriors need size and defense on the perimeter to complement point guard Stephen Curry. Also of note, Curry and Iguodala played together for the USA in last summer’s World Championships.
In the first part of our Sixers 2.0 series, which ran just over two weeks ago in the Sunday edition of the Inquirer, we outlined the scoring guards the Sixers would target in exchange for Iguodala. The No. 1 target on that list was Ellis – and for good reason. You can find that story here: Iguodala trade.
For the Sixers, the trade makes sense because they played the entirety of the 2010-11 season without a consistent scoring option from the perimeter. While second-year point guard Jrue Holiday blossomed, he is not yet an everyday scorer. In addition, starting shooting guard Jodie Meeks is streaky from the outside and Iguodala is more of a capable defender and facilitator than an all-star level scorer.
The drawback to dealing Iguodala is that the Sixers would be trading, by far, their best perimeter defender in exchange for a guy who stands 6-foot-X and is hardly known for his defense. The one thing to keep in mind with this swap is that it’s not an exact exchange in the starting lineup of Iguodala for Ellis. That is to say, Ellis would become the starting shooting guard, with Meeks moving to the bench. This would open up the starting small forward position, which would become a battle between Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young. So in essence, the Sixers are replacing Meeks with Ellis and Iguodala with either Turner or Young. They are not replacing Iguodala with Ellis.
If this trade were executed, it would leave the Sixers with a backcourt of Holiday, Ellis, and Turner or Holiday, Ellis, and Young.
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