Sixers in Two Major Discussions Today

Andre Iguodala averaged 14 points per game last season and 11 in the playoffs against Miami.

According to numerous reports the 76ers are in not one, but two interesting negotiating processes that regard the future of the franchise in the short term and also over the long term. The first of those discussions involve the face of the franchise, swing-man Andre Iguodala. Iguodala is rumored to possibly be heading to the Golden State Warriors before this months draft in exchange for shooting guard Monta Ellis. The other major discussion involves the ownership of the franchise and  a potential sale of the team.

Let’s start with Iguodala. Andre Iguodala received a lot of negative feedback from the fan base of the team mainly on the grounds that he has not been the star player that many expected him to be when he was signed to his current deal. So far the dollar signs and the statistics have not synced up. Many sources believe that the swap for Ellis is not imminent but there is certainly merit to the reports and a deal very well could be done soon. Because of the two player’s similar salaries, no other players or assets would be needed to satisfy the leagues rules.

Monta Ellis scored 24 points per game for the Warriors last season.

Iguodala would provide the Warriors with the strong defensive presence that they currently do not have on the wings. His defense and slashing ability would be a good complement to the shooting ability of both Dorell Wright and Stephen Curry, who was a teammate of Iguodala’s on USA’s gold medal winning team at last year’s World Championships. The deal would leave the Warriors with a 1,2,3 punch of Curry, Iguodala, and Wright. The Warriors also named their new head coach, ESPN Analysts and former NBA point guard, Mark Jackson today.

From the Sixers standpoint, the deal is all about scoring. Ellis would be the prolific scorer that the Sixers have not had since Allen Iverson. Ellis averaged 24 points per game last season compared to slightly under 15 for Iguodala. However, Ellis does not outshine Iguodala in any other major statistical category. His small size of 6’3 185 may hinder the Sixers defense. The extra slack that will have to be picked up upon Iguodala’s departure would include rebounding, defense and assist production and will fall on the shoulders of the new starting small forward which would almost certainly be either Evan Turner or Thaddeus Young.

Turner was the 2nd overall pick last season and although his talent was only shown in flashes last season, the expectations are still high for number 12. Many envisioned him and Jrue Holiday being the back court of the future for the Sixers but if this deal occurs Turner would have to play more minutes at the small forward spot, a position he played a decent amount last season due to the 15 games that Iguodala missed.

Thaddeus Young came to Evan Turner's defense in the playoffs versus the Heat and the two could have to fight for the starting SF position if Ellis joins the Sixers.

The starting nod could also go to Thaddeus Young who had a stellar season last year and who combined with Lou Williams and Turner to provide the Sixers with perhaps the NBA’s most potent bench. So as it stands the Sixers two options would be Holiday, Ellis, Turner or Holiday, Ellis, Young with both options allowing for Jodie Meeks, who emerged as a major deep ball threat to use his explosive shooting ability coming off the bench.

Both Ellis and Iguodala being traded from their teams seems to be imminent and according to numerous sources the deal could certainly be for each other.

The other major Sixers news of the day is a report from ESPN that the team owners at Comcast Spectacor are currently in talks to sell the Sixers. Peter Luuko, confirmed that the brass is having “discussions” about the future of the franchise but stopped short of confirming talks of a sale. The potential new owners of the Sixers are a group led by Joshua Harris, a leverage buyout specialist. Harris is joined by investor David Blitzer and Jason Levien, a former Sacramento Kings executive and player agent. Both Harris and Blitzer graduated from the Wharton School of Business here in Philadelphia so there should not be reason to expect a potential relocation of the team.

The current Sixers brass includes (from left) President and GM Ed Stefanski, Comcast Spectacor President Peter Luuko, Sixers Head Coach Doug Collins, and Sixers Chairman Ed Snider.

Some may characterize both of these changes as a good thing. Many Sixers fans believe that Iguodala has just not lived up to the lofty expectations that were placed upon him and thus the team has to look to replace him with a star. Some fans also feel like Ed Snider, owner of Comcast Spectacor is a bit out of touch with the Sixers and is really only concerned with the success of one of his franchises, the Philadelphia Flyers. Perhaps both of these possible moves surfacing on the same day is a sign that they should occur for the better of the team or perhaps it is a sign of the exact opposite. We will soon find out.

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