[picappgallerysingle id="8471847"]Before you chastise me for suggesting that the Philadelphia 76ers Andre Iguodala is worth 50 million dollars, let’s just get one thing clear. The title of this article is a question, not a statement. But, it may be a question worth considering. Even though the Sixers play him quite a bit at guard, Iggy’s natural position is at small forward. Obviously the two and three spot are much different. Assuming Andre sticks with the three and can play his game, the proof is pretty remarkable. How many small forwards in the NBA are better than Iguodala? Let’s just say that after a review of the numbers Iguodala is worth a spot in the top five.
All of the following rankings are from the 2009-2010 season and compare Andre Iguodala against only players at the small forward position. Taking that into account, Iggy is 10th in scoring. That doesn’t seem like much but, top ten is top tier. In rebounds among small forwards he is 5th. With 5.8 assists per game he is 2nd only to the Miami Heat’s Lebron James. With 1.72 steals per game he is 7th all NBA regardless of position and 2nd among small forwards. To put that in perspective, this past season Andre Iguodala was in the top 10, when compared to small forwards, in points, rebounds, assists and steals. The only other players at his position who share a ranking in the top ten in all four of those statistical categories are Kevin Durant and Lebron James. He ranked in the top five among small forwards in three of those four categories (Rebounds, Assists, Steals). Only four small forwards ranked above Iggy in two or more of those categories (Kevin Durant, Luol Deng, Gerald Wallace – pts, reb; Lebron James – pts, reb, ast).
Watching AI2 play night in and night out, with a critical eye, his faults become openly exposed. Sometimes I feel as though I might lose my lunch if I have to watch another rainbow three brick off the back of the rim. But when you step away and look at his game from a higher perspective, you must admit that he is pretty good. In fact, after a less biased look at his play, you might be able to make the argument that only Kevin Durant, Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony are better at the position than Iguodala. His ability to attack the rim and finish along with his defensive prowess and unselfish play make him quite a unique talent.
Andre has his weaknesses and he most certainly has his strong points. He can and does fill up the stat sheet on a consistent basis. While the average Sixers fan laments granting him such a mammoth payday, there is no questioning that he is our best player. We could not afford to just give him up for cheap.
So while we wallow in mediocrity we can seek comfort in the fact that we have one of the best in the NBA at his position. Andre Iguodala!