Sixers trade talk quiets down before draft

Trades involving Andre Iguodala, here with Sixers coach Doug Collins , were discussed with Golden State and the Clippers.
Trades involving Andre Iguodala, here with Sixers coach Doug Collins , were discussed with Golden State and the Clippers. (RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: June 23, 2011

All remains quiet on the 76ers front.

With only hours remaining until Thursday night's 2011 NBA draft, the trade talk that last week encircled the Sixers seems to have died down.

One source said things were "very quiet" around the team.

The Sixers hold the Nos. 16 and 50 picks in the draft, to be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

In recent weeks, the Sixers have discussed trades involving swingman Andre Iguodala with both the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers, along with various other teams, but have yet to find a deal they deem worthy of execution.

Two factors seem to be slowing the Sixers' willingness to deal Iguodala: the impending change in ownership and the impending lockout.

A little more than two weeks ago, news broke that Comcast-Spectacor was in serious discussions to sell the team to a group led by New York investor Joshua Harris. Although the deal is not yet official, many league sources have conveyed the belief that the Sixers front office is in a bit of a holding pattern until the new ownership officially takes the reins.

During a meeting with reporters after Tuesday's final predraft workout at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Sixers president Rod Thorn said it's business as usual for the basketball side, although Thorn also said that nothing was imminent with any trades.

"We've had conversations with everyone over the course of the last three weeks," Thorn said. "And we've had some what I would call meaningful conversations, and then some not so meaningful. But as of right now, we don't have anything imminent. But we keep having conversations, so we'll just have to see."

In addition, the owners and the NBA players' association are on opposite sides of a negotiating table trying to avoid a lockout that would begin July 1.

Thorn said that he believes the unknowns - salary-cap situation, veteran contract exceptions, length of lockout - have made many NBA teams more "cautious" when it comes to making moves in the days leading to the lockout.

The Sixers, for example, might be less willing to take back undesirable contracts because they are unsure how much wiggle room they'll have in free agency once the next collective bargaining agreement goes into effect.

Thorn would not rule out the possibility of a draft-day trade, but he insinuated that such a move was unlikely.

The likely outcome of Thursday's draft is that the Sixers walk away with an additional big man, snagged with their first-round pick, and a high-upside player, whom they can evaluate in training camp, grabbed with their second-round selection.

Sixers qualify Young, Hawes. On Wednesday, the Sixers extended qualifying offers to forward Thaddeus Young ($3.99 million) and center Spencer Hawes ($4.05 million). Both Young and Hawes will become restricted free agents on July 1, which means that the Sixers would have right of first refusal if another NBA team signs either to an offer sheet. The Sixers would have a designated length of time to match the offer sheet and retain that player.

If neither player gets an offer sheet, he would return to the Sixers for the 2011-12 season and play for the amount of the qualifying offer.

Draft details. The NBA draft will begin at 7 p.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. There will be five minutes between each of the 30 first-round picks and two minutes between each of the 30 second-round picks.


Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at kfagan@phillynews.com. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/DeepSixer3, and read her blog, Deep Sixer, on Philly.com.

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