If you watched Andre Iguodala in person, you’d see a very talented
player playing below his potential. Or if you walked into the locker
room after a game and saw a guy hunched over after yet another loss,
you’d be nearing the same conclusion: It’s time.
For proof, let’s read between the lines.
Doug Collins rarely goes a day without reiterating one simple fact: The 76ers’ coach has been brought here to evaluate talent, to decide which players are prepared for the journey ahead.
So let’s forget the team’s record, which is quite bad. Let’s forget the roster’s salary, which is quite high. Let’s forget the remaining sliver of hope which keeps some believing that by season’s end this squad – in its current incarnation – will be transformed into a playoff team.
And let’s state the truth without pump-faking or jab-stepping: The Sixers are reassembling, which is the NBA’s version of rebuilding.
You probably knew that. But there’s a chance you didn’t.
You’ve likely read the multitude of quotes from Collins commenting on his search for the right mix of guys, for the secret recipe that will produce the gourmet meal.
But when your ingredients are brown sugar and pickles, there is no gourmet meal. You might come up with a funky appetizer that a few people find interesting, but it’ll never be satisfying.
"I mean, I’m being ultra-positive. I don’t know what else I can do," Collins said after Friday’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. "I’m ultra-positive: ‘Let’s go, let’s do our jobs,’ and stuff like that. But if we’re going to judge ourselves after nine games, I mean, I would think that that wouldn’t happen."
Collins is smart enough and in tune with this challenge that he might get the Sixers to make a push, get them to 35 wins, but this season will not be a winning one.
Which brings us back to the opening premise: It’s time.
Let’s continue reading between the lines.
Iguodala has not formally requested a trade, and the Sixers are not actively trying to deal him. There is no "For Sale" sign in front of Iguodala, but the Sixers would listen if you fell in love with the place and knocked on the door anyway.