Boy, it feels like every single player in the NBA is trying to join the Miami Heat at the moment.
Now granted, is that a bit of an exaggeration? Yes, but only slightly, as the first day of free agency essentially ran through South Beach. They signed P.J. Tucker, sign-and-traded for Kyle Lowry, singed Jimmy Butler to a new max extension, and awarded Duncan Robinson with the richest contract ever handed out to an undrafted free agent.
In a sport where complacency often leads to regression, the Heat could be marching out a starting lineup featuring a new starting point guard, a new starting power forward, and a near-completely reorientated bench sans Precious Achiuwa, Goran Dragic, and our old pal Andre Iguodala.
But hey, it’s cool; when one door closes, another opens. Just because the Miami Heat doesn’t want want to bring back Iguodala for their race for the prize doesn’t mean their Eastern Conference counterparts in the City of Brotherly Love wouldn’t happily accept their original draft pick back with open arms. Philadelphia 76ers, it’s time to bring Iggy home.
Andre Iguodala is an ideal veteran addition to the Philadelphia 76ers.
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The last time Andre Iguodala was seen in a Philadelphia 76ers jersey was on May 26th, 2012 in a losing effort to the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the second round of the NBA Finals.
Okay, technically that isn’t true. If you want to be overly semantic or happen to be a massive cinephile like yours truly, you may recall seeing Iguodala, Elton Brand, Evan Turner, and the rest of the pre-Process Sixers earn a surprise cameo in The Safdie Brothers’ 2019 tour de force Uncut Gems, a string of scenes that make me laugh to this day a little harder than they maybe should.
Since leaving our fair city via the four-team Andrew Bynum trade, Iggy has played for the Denver Nuggets, the Golden State Warriors, the
, and the Miami Heat, logging 712 games over nine seasons away versus 650 with Phila embroidered across his chest.
And the rest of Iguodala’s resume? Well, it sort of speaks for itself. He’s a three-time NBA Champion, a Finals MVP, and one of the most unique sixth men in NBA history with a puncher’s chance at making it to the Hall when his playing days are done.
Fun fact: Outside of the court, Iguodala has become a bit of a player in Silicon Valley, joining ConcreteRose as a venture capitalist while playing for the Warriors. Good work if you can get it… or just happen to be super rich.
While Iguodala isn’t the player he used to be, and only averaged 21.3 minutes for the Heat in the regular season – and 17.8 minutes in the playoffs – he’s still one of the best glue guys in the NBA who knows how to succeed, how to carry himself as a pro, and, most importantly of all, how to win games at the NBA-level.
Hmm… is there a team you can think of who could desperately use frontcourt help and a little extra help getting over the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals hump? Maybe a team that wears red, white, blue, and all too infrequently black and gold?
Think about it this way; in 2020-21, the Sixers paid Mike Scott $5 million to sit on the bench and play an average of 16.7 minutes a night when actually active to play. Swapping him out for Iguodala, even at 37-years-old, is a massive upgrade, especially if he’s willing to sign a veteran minimum deal, which is worth $2.56 million for a 14-year vet.
Even now, Iggy is a solid 3 point shooter, a decent rebounder, and a steal-a-game guy even at the tender age of 37. For a team like the Sixers to recapture their winning ways, what better, um, way than to bring back one of their best players from a previous era who played for the team the last time they were legitimately good?
Think about the crowd reactions, the jersey sales. Maybe bringing back a true blue member from the “Hop the Rabbit”-era could be just what the doctor ordered to finally get the black and gold uniforms back on the court as an alternative look? His presence certainly couldn’t hurt, right?
Is bringing back Andre Iguodala a bit of a long shot? Yes. He’s reportedly already drawing interest from the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers and all it really takes is one team offering a deal over the vet minimum to completely wipe Philly off the negotiation table. With that being said, could you imagine how cool it would be for Iggy to actually make his triumphant return to the Philadelphia 76ers, win another championship, and then ride off into the sunset of venture capitalism-funded retirement? Talk about a storybook ending to a very unique career that all started out in the City of Brotherly Love.