With Jason Quick of the Oregonian reporting that the Blazers met with Nicolas Batum and stated the team would match any offer in addition to being unwilling to negotiate a sign and trade, the Timberwolves were effectively eliminated from the possibility of Batum calling Target Center home next season. Well, what now? Per KSTP’s Darren Wolfson, Philadelphia 76ers have reached out to the Wolves to gauge their interest in Andre Iguodala.
Now, the Sixers are coming off of a playoff year and Iggy is coming off of an All-Star season, but he’s been on the block for what seems like forever and the Sixers reportedly are looking to unload his contract. Coincidentally, Iggy would fill the need of small forward for the Timberwolves. Naturally, the stars must be aligning, right? Well, it’s not that easy.
First off, you’d think a team with as much cap space as the Wolves have (or don’t have) that matching Iggy’s $13 million dollar salary would be a cinch, but it’s not. Seriously, it’s a glut of $4-$5 million dollar deals, and Kevin Love’s exetension.
Secondly, if the Sixers really want to do a deal with Minnesota, they may have to sell low on Iggy. But hey, they made the first call, so beggars can’t be choosers, right? I think the other saying is that beggars may have to deal their best player in a salary dump, but I could be wrong.
With all of that being said, I take to ESPN’s Trade Machine, and there are really three realistic offers for the Sixers to consider if they would just be shipping out Iggy.
Trade #1: Derrick Williams, Brad Miller (Buyout), Martell Webster (Buyout), and the Grizzlies pick.
Trade #2: Wes Johnson, Brad Miller (Buyout), Martell Webster (Buyout), and the Grizzlies pick.
Trade #3: Nikola Pekovic, Brad Miller (Buyout), Martell Webster (Buyout), and the Grizzlies pick.
Obviously the best return for the Sixers right now is Pekovic, but that would leave the Wolves with Darko Milicic as the only other center on the roster, and Philly could only offer Spencer Hawes in return; no thanks.
Trade number two would make sense from a roster standpoint, but not from a talent standpoint, since the Sixers would have a sudden need for a small forward.
Should they take Trade #1 they would be adding Williams to the power forward platoon of Elton Brand, Arnette Moultrie, and Thaddeus Young, who is also power forward capable. At first I thought that if the Sixers were absolutely set on shedding salary they amnesty Brand in addition to buying out Miller and Webster, but Brand is an $18 million dollar expiring contract, so that’s not happening.
See what I mean about the Sixers likely having to sell low on Iguodala to make a Wolves deal? Yet, I think the Wolves probably agree to the first two without blinking. It’s certainly a tough spot, but it’ll be an even tougher season if they don’t add something to small forward position.
What can Iguodala offer, besides being better than the in-house options?
– He’s just 28, has two years and $27 milllion left on his deal, and therefore wouldn’t interfere with extending Kevin Love or Ricky Rubio in 3 years.
– His 39.4% 3 point percentage likely won’t hold, but he’s average at worst from that range, and the Wolves were average from that range on a good night last season.
– His defensive metrics were great last season posting 4.2 (1.0 being average) Defensive Win Shares and a 98 Defensive Rating (100 being average) last season. He’s even a good defensive playmaker, averaging 1.7 steals per game for his career.
– Additionally he can rebound and set up teammates.
Compared to what we saw last season from the Timberwolves’ small forwards, Iggy’s 7.3 Win Shares are greater than Webster’s (1.8), Wes Johnson’s (0.6) and Mike Beasley’s (0.5). He may not blow you away, but he’s the type of player who could improve the Timberwolves and he’s available, for the right price.
As far as the price, no one knows right now what Philadelphia wants right now; could be cap relief, picks, or some combo of the two. Maybe the Sixers are cool with not getting a player of equal caliber in exchange for their All-star, I know I am. All that I really know is that, while I like Chase Budinger, I’m not sure it’s a great thing for him to be a team’s biggest offseason addition.
(Final note: I know that they could still make a run for OJ Mayo, Courtney Lee, and/or Alexy Shved, but those guys are all shooting guards.)