Over the past year, a select few players have consistently been mentioned as ones that the Los Angeles Lakers could look to target. A couple of them are unquestionable game-changers and would instantly alter the squad’s makeup: Dwight Howard and Deron Williams.
The third one that's most frequently talked about, though, is a bit more questionable. Andre Iguodala has been cited as a potential trade target for the Lakers ever since they and the Philadelphia 76ers failed to make a deal happen last year.
Predictably, the other A.I. is once again being whispered about as someone that L.A. apparently has legitimate interest in heading into this summer.
As noted by Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld:
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The Lakers, who are looking to shake their roster up this offseason, are expected to once again emerge as a potential suitor for Iguodala. The 28-year-old would be an excellent fit for Los Angeles and solve their problem at small forward. Sources close to the situation say that Kobe Bryant would welcome the move since he has wanted the Lakers to acquire an athletic, versatile small forward for several years.
After missing on Iguodala last summer, the Lakers may be able to land him this offseason if they’re willing to part with the right pieces. With that said, Los Angeles will have competition for the small forward. Many teams are expected to express interest if Iguodala becomes available. This season, he averaged 12.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 62 games with the Sixers.
Many players will be mentioned as possible targets for the Lakers this summer, but Iguodala is a realistic option given that these teams have flirted with this possibility in the no-so-distant past.
So there you go – Iggy is a “realistic option” for the Lakers. The obvious question is, though: should they really pull the trigger on bringing him in?
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While small forward has admittedly been something of a question mark for L.A. over the last year, Metta World Peace was not the reason for the squad’s chronic woes. He legitimately worked himself into game shape towards the end of the season and, unquestionably, was one of their more reliable guys in the playoffs.
Sure, Iguodala is a more talented, capable player than Peace – but is he talented enough to compensate for the loss of Pau Gasol? Because that’s likely what it would cost to bring him in.
If you make that move, a Gasol-for-Iguodala swap, you’re presumably going into next year with a starting lineup that looks like this: Andrew Bynum, Jordan Hill, Iguodala, Kobe Bryant and Ramon Sessions.
Is that really an upgraded roster?