Why would the Sixers do a three-way deal for Stoudemire?

The Arizona Republic is suggesting that the Sixers could do a three-way deal that would send Amare Stoudemire to Detroit instead of dealing directly with the Suns.

Possibilities with Philadelphia could be stronger with two fronts, a deal between bringing in swingman Andre Iguodala for Stoudemire with perhaps young power forward Marreese Speights or a three-way deal involving Detroit with Pistons guard Ben Gordon winding up in Philadelphia and the Suns getting Iguodala and Detroit power forward Chris Wilcox. The rub with Iguodala, a 26-year-old former Arizona star, is inheriting a contract that will pay him $56.5 million over the next four seasons.

This sounds like wishful speculation. First, both Marc Stein and Chad Ford have confirmed that it’s the Sixers holding up an Iguodala-and-Dalembert for Stoudemire deal, so why would Philly give up the promising young Speights instead?

Secondly, why would they trade Iggy, an elite defender who can score, for Ben Gordon, an excellent shooter but just a mediocre defender? It’s not like Gordon’s contract (four years, $48 million) is that much better than Iguodala’s (four years, $57 million). Not enough to justify the drop off on defense, anyway.

While I love the NBA trade deadline, I’m ready for it to get here already. The amount of misinformation and speculation that happens on a daily basis is mind-boggling.

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Andre Iguodala’s potential impact on the Cavs

John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog posted a detailed analysis of Andre Iguodala’s potential impact on the Cavaliers.

Danny Ferry has done an absolutely masterful job of surrounding LeBron James with high-quality role players during his tenure as GM. That being said, thanks to LeBron getting too good too fast, Luke Jackson’s back, DaJuan Wagner’s intestines, Ricky Davis’ head, Larry Hughes’ everything, and the sins of Jim Paxson, LeBron’s never gotten a young potential superstar to grow with. (Mo Williams is great for what he is, but he’s no superstar.) This might be the Cavs’ chance to get LeBron a true running mate.

There’s also something else. Iguodala’s a lock-down perimeter defender, both on the ball and providing weak-side help. He’s got off-the-charts athleticism and a Gumby wingspan. He’s not a natural shooter, but he can make shots when they’re open. He’s a good decision-maker and can make plays. This is borderline heresy, but it’s hard not to see more than a little bit of Scottie Pippen in Iguodala.

I’m sure that the Pippen comparison is going to raise more than a few eyebrows, but Krolik isn’t saying that Iggy is as good as Pippen or really even in the same league, but the potential is there. His numbers are comparable and Pippen had the luxury of playing with an alpha dog from day one. Iguodala played with Allen Iverson for a couple of seasons (posting 50% shooting from the field and 35% from long range in 2005-06) but has otherwise been the offensive focal point of a pretty mediocre Sixers squad. If he were to join the Cavs, there is reason to believe that he would become a far more efficient player since he could exercise much better shot selection.

Krolik goes on to discuss Iggy’s defense:

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Great Dunks: Andre Iguodala

Sixers shock Magic

The Philadelphia 76ers were down by 14 points heading into the fourth quarter, and they managed to outscore Orlando 35-19 in the final period to spring the upset. Andre Iguodala is a difficult matchup for Hedo Turkoglu, but with time running down in regulation, the Turkish forward forced the “new AI” into a tough shot, but Iguodala nailed it to give the Sixers the lead for good, 100-98. On the previous possession, Donyell Marshall hit a HUGE three-pointer (with 0:34 to play) to tie the game at 98-98. (Truth be told, I didn’t even realize that Marshall was still in the league.)

How did Orlando lose this game? Dwight Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, but Turkoglu and Rafer Alston combined to shoot just 7 for 23 from the field. Three-point shooting was the difference — Orlando shot 5 of 18 (28%) from long range while the Sixers knocked down 7 of 12 (58%) attempts. Iguodala had a great game, posting 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Lou Williams pitched in with 18 points.

The Magic miss Jameer Nelson. Rafer Alston is a serviceable replacement, but he’s no Jameer. Rashard Lewis needs to play better as well. Fifteen points, three rebounds and three assists is a decent line, but not for a guy making more than $17 million per season.

The NBA’s 68 worst contracts

The economy is really starting to take its toll on professional sports, and the NBA is no different. Bad contracts are bad even when the economy is pumping, but they really stand out in tough times like these. So I decided to look through the payrolls team-by-team to try to identify the worst contracts in the NBA. I expected to list 15-20 names, but I ended up scribbling down 68. That’s right, there are no fewer than 68 bad contracts in the NBA.

I didn’t include any of the players that are in the final year of their contracts because…well, what’s the point? They’ll be off the books in a few months anyway. Instead, I wanted to focus on those contracts that are going to haunt teams for years to come, so to be eligible, players have to have at least a year left on their current deals.

It’s tough to compare someone making superstar money to an average, everyday role player, so I split these 68 contracts up into three groups: the Overpaid Role Players, the Not-So-Super Stars and the Injury-Prones. I will rank them from least-worst to most-worst with the thinking that I wouldn’t trade the player for anyone further down the list but I would trade him for anyone previously mentioned. So, for example, if a guy is listed #7 within a particular group, I’m not trading him for anyone ranked #6-#1, but I would think seriously about moving him for a guy that is ranked #8+.

So let’s start with the role players and go from there…

(Note: In most cases, I don’t blame the player himself for his outrageous contract. The fault lies with the general manager that inked the guy to the deal. However, this rule goes out the window if the player has a history of only producing in his contract year – I’m looking at you, Tim Thomas.)

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