The reason for Collins' travels was his desire to let his players know just what he expected from them during the lockout, presumably including what they should be working on this offseason, and what his team might need from them. Once the lockout began, coaches and front office people are not allowed to make any contact with players. For Collins, an avid texter and enthusiastic communicator, it could cause some serious withdrawal.
Much like the current situation in the NFL, the rules are clear. According to a statement from the NBA last night to announce the lockout: "Players will not receive their salaries; teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts; players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose; and teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings."
Of Collins' meetings with his players, the most anticipated was the one with Iguodala, who has been the subject of trade rumors. Some reports indicate his agent, Rob Pelinka, was one of the people adding fire to the rumors, supposedly wanting his client to be closer to him in Los Angeles. There can be no doubt, though, that many teams have inquired about the 7-year forward, and that the Sixers have listened intently.
Even with the lockout, the sale of the team to a group headed by billionaire Joshua Harris appears to be on track, although no timetable for an announcement has been set.
At about the same time the sale of the team was being reported, rumors were hot that the Sixers and Golden State Warriors were close to a deal that would bring scoring guard Monta Ellis to Philly and send Iguodala to the Warriors. Things seemed to cool on those talks, and you had to wonder if it was because the new owners had intervened. A call to Sixers president Rod Thorn about the subject was not returned.
Before the draft last week, Thorn conceded that he had conversations with the prospective owners, but said things remained "business as usual."
The problem now with the Sixers appears to be this: Should they not trade Iguodala, after all the rumors that have swirled and the majority of the fan base wanting him dealt, will he be ready to put all that behind and be a productive piece for Collins?
Time will tell, though it could be quite some time before anything of significance can happen.
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