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Just The Sports: Andre Iguodala's Improved Play Made It Impossible For The Philadelphia 76ers To Trade Him

Just The Sports

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Andre Iguodala's Improved Play Made It Impossible For The Philadelphia 76ers To Trade Him

There was a time in the NBA season, a little more than a quarter of a way through the schedule's 82 games, where trading Andre Iguodala made sense. His subpar play even prompted me to write an article detailing why the Philadelphia 76ers should trade him. However, after he came back from his Achilles injury, his improved overall play made it impossible for the 76ers to trade him.

Before I penned the article, Iguodala was on his way to having a disappointing season and it looked like he was going to continue his decline since his best year in the 2007-08 season. A big reason why Iguodala's 2010-11 season looked like a lost cause and unhelpful to the 76ers' chances of winning was because of his poor shooting.

In his 25 games before the article, Iguodala's 47.6 effective field goal percentage and 51.7 true shooting percentage were both well below his career shooting percentages. Additionally, his 108 points produced per 100 possessions were two points produced per 100 possessions below his career offensive rating.

Had Iguodala continued to produce at that level, the 76ers would indeed have been better off without him, but he reversed his downward trend in a big way since returning from injury.

During his 20 games after he returned to the 76ers' line-up and before the February 24th trade deadline, Iguodala posted a 49.1 effective field goal percentage and 55.1 true shooting percentage. His improvement in his shooting represents a 3.2 percent increase in effective field goal percentage and a 6.6 percent increase in true shooting percentage so his biggest jump has been in his increased ability to get to the free throw line as well as convert his chances once he gets there.

For the 25 games previous to my article, Iguodala was taking one free throw for every 2.5 field goal attempts and converting just 66.4 percent of them. For his next 20 games, Iguodala shot a free throw once every 2.2 field goal attempts and made 74.5 percent of his free throw attempts.

Iguodala also improved his assist percentage dramatically, going from a 23.6 assist percentage in his first 25 games to a 28.3 assist percentage in his next 20 games. His turnover percentage also increased, from 11.8 percent to 12.4 percent, but that increase was trumped by his superior assist percentage improvement, indicating he has been a much better distributor of the ball lately.

Now, including the three games since the trade deadline, Iguodala has contributed 0.142 win shares per 48 minutes. If he is able to keep that up, it will be his best season since his 2007-08 one in that regard, and with Iguodala once again playing basketball very near the highest level he is able, it is no wonder the 76ers did not pull the trigger on a trade.

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