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Thursday, September 29th, 2011 at 1:00 pm  |  82 responses

Top 50: Andre Iguodala, no. 34

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Peter Walsh / @goinginsquad

Andre Iguodala at No. 34? For real?

When Ryne first sent me the assignment, I thought I could name 35+ players better than him right off the bat. Shit, he’s never even been named to an All-Star team. That’s not to say that I’m not a fan of Dre, I’ve always admired his transition game, and from the interviews I’ve seen of him, he seems like an intelligent, genuine dude.

But after a lackluster season I was surprised to see his name on the Top 50 list, and even more shocked to see him ranked even higher last year. Being that I’ve always had a soft spot for ‘Zona alum—shouts to Michael Dickerson, Mustafa Shakur and Loren Woods—I did some digging and discovered that Andre might be more valuable to whatever team he may play for next year than any naysayer would like to admit.

The city of Philly certainly doesn’t show Andre Iguodala much brotherly love. Granted, Illadelph is notorious for having some of the most ruthless fans in the land, and when I recently asked a Sixers fan (what up Dee?) his opinion of Dre, his response was too expletive-laden for print.

Perhaps it’s the burden of trying to fill the shoes of one of the city’s most beloved superstars in Allen Iverson, or the huge contract and underwhelming performances that leave much to be desired by the 76ers faithful. Maybe the criticism is unjustfied, though.

Iguodala is still the top player on an emerging Sixers squad, and at times forced to take the big shots due to the rest of the team’s inexperience. But numbers don’t lie. While playing most of the 2010 season banged up, Iguodala saw his points per game average drop from 18 to 14, and his shooting percentage was on par with his career low of 44 percent which he shot in 2009—certainly no way to win over a waning fan base.

In all honesty, I feel a little sorry for Iguodala. In the words of Money Mayweather, Dre doesn’t always get a “fair shake” from the fans or media. Maybe he was undeserving of an $80 million contract, but if you were making 40k a year, then were offered 100k a year for the same job, would you turn it down? It’s not his fault that management offered him superstar money when he isn’t a superstar caliber player (hence the League’s current bickering over a CBA).

It’s not as if Dre has shied away from attempting to turn himself into a star. He is always more than willing to take an ill-advised shot in the fourth quarter, but he just lacks that “it” factor and killer instinct that the big time players of the League possess.

In crunch time the Lakers can always depend on Kobe to take and hit a big shot. The Mavs know that when the game is on the line, Dirk is going to step up and make a play.

The best Dre can offer, though, is a forced turnover and a dunk in transition, a tough feat against veteran teams that take care of the ball late in the game. He lacks that clutch factor which became incredibly blatant during the Sixers-Heat first-round matchup during last year’s Playoffs.

Along with signing him to a huge deal, the Sixers front office also kept his name in the news by making him readily available to seemingly every team in the L last season. Despite constant trade rumors swirling his name, it must be noted that Iguodala continued to go out every night and play hard for Philly despite being hurt. And unlike other superstar players never openly complained or let the rumors hurt team chemistry, evidenced by a surprising .500 record and Playoff birth by the young Sixers.

What Dre does bring to the table is consistency. Although he is not the unstoppable scorer that Philly fans want him to be, he fills up the box score on a nightly basis. His averages of 14, 6 and 6 last year put him in the company of Bron as the only other player to average 14, 5 and 5 per game.

Last season not withstanding, he is always on the court. From ‘04-’09 he only missed six games total, and has averaged 38 minutes a game for his career. He remains one of the best finishers on the break, and keeps defenders wary of the camera when they see him coming through the lane (right Brian Cardinal?).

Dre also remains one of the best perimeter defensive players in the League. Night in and night out he was asked to guard the other team’s top scorer, no small feat in the East, and every night he gave opposing teams fits. His defensive prowess certainly caught the attention of the rest of the NBA, as he was named to the All-Defenisve Second-Team following last season.

The Summer of 2010 should have put a lot of competing teams GMs on notice as far as how Andre could be an fit in with the right team. During the FIBA World Championships, Iguodala proved that he could be the ultimate role player for a contender. Since he didn’t have to carry the team offensively during the competition, Iguodala was able to pick his spots, play more of a facilitating role, get out on the break, and provide lock down defense on the wing. If I was a GM looking for the right player to put my team over the hump, I would have been salivating over Iguodala’s performance, and doing everything in my power to acquire him, especially since he seemed so readily available.

And if Dre does get that change of scenery and lands on a contending team, I can foresee the hate only growing stronger amongst snakebitten Philly fans after they see him hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy and popping bottles with his new teammates. And if that’s the case, Dre’s ranking is completely warranted, and he may even pop up higher next year.

SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2011
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Luol Deng Bulls SF 8
49 Andrew Bogut Bucks C 7
48 Ray Allen Celtics SG 9
47 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 6
46 David West Hornets PF 15
45 Kevin Martin Rockets SG 8
44 Andrew Bynum Lakers C 5
43 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 11
42 Lamar Odom Lakers PF 14
41 Gerald Wallace Blazers SF 7
40 Brook Lopez Nets C 4
39 Joakim Noah Bulls C 3
38 Carlos Boozer Bulls PF 13
37 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 12
36 Eric Gordon Clippers SG 7
35 Tony Parker Spurs PG 10
34 Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 6

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’11-12 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Maurice Bobb, Shannon Booher, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Jon Jaques, Eldon Khorshidi, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Quinn Peterson, Dave Schnur, Abe Schwadron, Dan Shapiro, Irv Soonachan, Todd Spehr, Tzvi Twersky, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Ben York.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I’m as surprised as Peter Walsh initially was about Iggy being this high.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Finally!!! Someone at Slam values top-notch defenders.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’m cool with this just because we finally get a player who is better on Defense than Offense on the list. He is impressiv eon defense. His O is uuuuugly sometimes though.

  • http://www.jcolemusic.com Showtime

    One of the better defenders in the league. insane hops, does everything need exept for to score..i always see him as a poormans Pip..Not a guy u should have as 1rst option but can be one of the best 2nd option if position right.

  • http://Www.Twitter.com/bigfuturelg BigFutureLG

    Dre dala just needs some better offense and he would be one of the best 2 way players in the L

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    lol Cosign JT. This is a good spot, I might have even had him higher.

  • ctkennedy

    this about right ….he could play for any team n the league n be some kind of factor to they success

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    I’m ok with this. He’ll bounce back this year and hopefully he can play on a team where he doesn’t have to be the main guy.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I think he would be perfect as a 3rd option where he could just focus on going all out on D and setting cats up. I doubt AI could come close to achieving the kind of numbers Pip put up in 94 with MJ gone.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Pip was far far more skilled offensively.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Agree with Taylor, Dala is a perfect 3rd option. I mean Perfect.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Dude does everything, can’t hate on that. Whichever team/contender he ends up on (after Philly) will be lucky to have him.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like dude, always have.
    But he had a down year last year, and there’s some cats on this list that should be higher than him, I think.

  • http://www.jcolemusic.com Showtime

    I think 2nd option, is good.. with iggy its just a mental thing, the pressure of being top bannanna would be of his back and he would def be able to do work. Of course he no were near pip on offense but on other catergories eeh pip average is 6.4rbg and 5.2Apg, iggy can average about the same. @jtaylor i agree put pip average like just 22 in 94″ that not ways away from 18 normals does.

  • justin

    Be great if Chicago could get em they don’t have the money for him though

  • MUBWAR

    great spot for AI part 2

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Oh man, an Iggy for Boozer trade would be dope as hell.
    Let Iggy try the 2, Taj can step in as the starting 4.
    The Bulls defense would be even nastier, and they’d really only lose low-post scoring, which would suck sure, but I’d take the loss.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    It won’t happen though.
    Philly with two overpaid, injury-prone Dukie power forwards?
    Nah.

  • http://www.thehoopscene.com lawlow

    i like this spot for iggy. solid player; always take him on my fantasy team

  • Pindajung

    He would be great with Wall in D.C. Wizards could use his D prowes and he’d be perfect running the floor with young Jimmy.

    Let Chicago sign (the cheaper) Nick Young and let Washington trade for Iggy!!

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    I think its just a matter of time before he gets traded to Golden State

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @nbk. Are you saying the old Monta Ellis for Dre trade?

  • Nella

    I would love him in the 2 spot for the Bulls. Wouldn’t need to take a ton of shots, Rose and Deng would have that covered. We’d have someone to finish on the break, and he could defend against size. I’d also give up Boozer for him.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    Yeah that old thing. feels inevitable to me. Him and Elton Brand are $63Million dollars against the cap over he next 2 seasons. Brand is basically untradeable. Monta Ellis makes a little more then $2M less a year then Iguodala. Couple Iguodala with Louis Williams (or Andres Nocioni) and Phili will lose between $8-10M off of their cap (assuming they take back Charlie Bell and his $4M Expiring). If I was the 76ers (or a 76ers fan) I would be clamoring for a go-to guy. And if I was Golden State I would be clamoring for a guy who is actually an elite defender, and a player that will allow Steph Curry to develop. Rather then take possessions away from him. I don’t see a more obvious deal in the league.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The bulls offense would struggle and they are already a nasty defensive team with sorry a** Booooooozer. So I don’t think CHI improves with AI that much.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Would take this dude for my team any day… were it not for that contract.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    Shout out to Brian Cardinal

  • victor

    5 guys better at the SF
    Lebron
    Durant
    Melo
    Gay
    Granger

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    I’m with you Ryne. That’s why I think he needs/is going to go to a team with their best scorer still on that Rookie Contract.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Any team other than GS, tho?

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Yea, I was for that trade too when talks were getting heated. Don’t know why it died down. I think it was something about the Warriors wanting to hard to believe that the Curry/Ellis combo could co-exist. *shrugs. But seeing Iguodala with Curry on one side and Dorrell Wright on the other does seem very intriguing.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    @Ryne, probably Milwaukee with Jennings. Cept they just brought in SJax for that.

  • add

    wasnt dre in the early 20′s last year?

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    @add: Mid-20s. Tyna get those bar charts on deck again. Too busy at the moment. Makin’ issues!

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    Ryne, I have the Clippers, Kaman & Aminu for Iguodala & Hawes/Speights as a possibility, I just don’t know how much the Clippers would want two overpaid bigs, or how much they value Spencer Hawes (I know they really value Speights).

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    How much the Sixers* would want two overpaid bigs. Especially injury prone ones. — Other then that there aren’t really very many teams with cap space and tradeable assets. If Phili is inevitably just trying to cut costs I have a few trades I could see them pulling, but I don’t think they want to get any worse with Doug Collins on the books.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Philly has to keep Speights unless the price is really right. Even unloading Dre’s contract isn’t worth it, IMO.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    As long as David Kahn is an NBA GM, there is no such thing as a player being “untradeable.”

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    Yeah I don’t really see Speights as likely at all, I just think Phili is inevitably going to trade Dre, the fans are apparently over him as their best player, he takes up minutes that would go to Evan Turner, and he is the only player on the team that has legitimate trade value other then Thaddeus Young, and we all know he is not goin anywhere.

  • shaolin23

    I like the Iggy/Kaman deal (although it seems somewhat unrealistic). Clippers need a SF who can defend/not a primary scoring option, and he would be a perfect fit w/ the current make up of that team. I know this was harped on before, but Mo running the break w/ Iggy, Gordon, Griffin, DJ etc. would be highlight reels for days.

  • Robb

    too high.

  • Otero

    I’m glad you did it SLAM but I cannot lie.. I am surprised ! Yo so I guess that means no jason Terry and not for nothing Jamal Crawford should get a look too.
    Top 10

    Lebron
    Durant
    Kobe
    Rose
    Wade 

    Dwight
    Nowitzki 
    CP
    Melo
    Dwill

    Rondo
    Amare
    Blake
    Love
    Westbrook

    Ellis
    Zbo
    Joe Johnson
    Rudy gay 
    Pau gasol

    Albridge
    Bosh
    Curry
    Wall
    Al Horford
    Ginobli
    Jsmoove
    Granger
    Tyrek evans

    Pierce
    Nash
    Scola
    beasley

  • MLK4Life

    Too bad the organization thought he was going to become a star after AI was traded. Sometimes you shoot and miss.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    1. LeBron
    2. Howard
    3. Wade
    4. Bryant
    5. Paul
    6. Durant (interchangeable w/ Rose)
    7. Rose (interchangeable w/ Durant)
    8. Deron
    9. Dirk
    10 Melo
    11 Aldridge
    12 Gasol
    13 Griffin (interchangeable w/ Randolph)
    14 Randolph (interchangeable w/ Griffin)
    15 Stoudemire
    16 Westbrook
    17 Rondo
    18 Nash
    19 Joe J
    20 Monta
    21 Rudy Gay.

    Off the top of my head that’s my top 21.

  • http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/6039/lebron-james-has-a-post-game nbk

    Bosh is the hardest person in the league to rate. I couldn’t decide between top 15 and leaving him off all together. Without the rest of the Heat I think he’s a better played then Stoudemire, with them he doesn’t get the touches to be that productive

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    So I’m guessing Allen Iverson wont make the list? =(

  • ChipS

    @nbk…. thats a great list, at 6-10 u could interchange any of them! except rose maybe

  • MLK4Life

    These lists are all just opinion-based. There’s no true or concrete list. I’d go with:
    Kobe or LeBron
    Wade
    Paul
    Durant
    Dirk
    D-Rose
    Howard
    Deron Williams
    Melo
    Amar’e or Blake Griffin
    The rest don’t really matter in comparison with these guys. These are the superstars.
    We all know that this will end with people arguing until they’re blue in the face about Kobe and LeBron. I look forward to reading it because I definitely won’t be participating in it.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    The Kobe and LeBron argument is over. It was over last year. The last time it was actually worth debating was summer 2009

  • MUBWAR

    lool at nbk. I don’t think Kobe will even be number 2 or 3. He deserves he rightful spot after lbj wade and Durant

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    lol^

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Well Mubwar if you can read I have him at 4.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    lbj
    wade
    paul(interchangeable with devon)
    kobe
    D.howard
    Dirk
    Durant
    Melo
    Rose

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I just can’t see JJ over CB. JJ has to be the most overrated player in the L while CB is perfectly rated. Most people see him as a very good 2nd banana and a great 3rd piece, JJ on the other hand is a 3rd piece fabricating as a go-to guy.
    Also, if Amare, BGriff, Nash and Monta make it, so must CB. It’s only fair because he’s a better defensive players than those guys and also a legit scorer.

  • http://blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami/2011/05/15/my-4th-annual-nba-no-defense-team-al-jefferson-monta-ellis-kobe-bryant-and-more/ nbk

    CB will definitely make it, I just don’t know where. Could be anywhere from 30 to 15. IMO

  • MLK4Life

    @nbk
    That right there is an opinion.

  • Shem

    I would take Eric Gordon’s 22 4 3 + good defense over Iguodala’s 14 5 5 + great defence.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    No, its over. Bron’s the best player in the league

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I co-sign Soop regarding Bron.
    Dude is now the clear-cut bonafide best overall player in the L.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign Shem.

  • http://gmail.com z

    Its tough to admit having enjoyed watching kobes career develop but I gotta cosign enigmatic regarding bron. Finals flop notwithstanding bron was amazing against boston and chicago he’s just entering his prime and he’s got legit motivation going forward. Enjoy

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    I think Dre would be a great fit in Brooklyn; you’d have Williams, Lopez and Dre playing together, running the break, with Marshon Brooks/Morrow at the 2-guard, and they’ll either re-sign Humphries or find another suitable PF. What do you all think?

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Also, Wade is better than Lebron. Better offensive game, just as good a distributer, just as good a defender, better 4th quarter performer.

  • davidR

    wade is deadlier, but bron is simply better

  • davidR

    i think this is a great position for dre. he’s pretty valuable for his team cuz he can do everything while providing great defense. while i know his offense isnt the greatest (bad handles, shaky jumper), i’d like to know:
    how is he without the ball? does his offense rely on running the offense through him?
    i don’t watch too many philly games, but i’m curious cuz he was rumored to go to gstate

  • KH10

    I would not trade any of the guys listed so far for this guy, nevermind his contract. Dude isn’t even All Star caliber. He’s a good player but is way too high on this list.

  • Armando

    Deron Williams is as overrated as a great player can be. Def top 10, but not better than Dirk. I’d also take LA over Amar’e. Not sure about Griffin. He could quite possible post one of the sickest stat lines in the L (26-13-4 not out of the question), but it all depends on how well the Clips do. This is a good place for Iggy though. A fave of mine, comparable to Pip (my all time favorite)in terms of type of skills, but from 91 through 98 Pip was top 10 (top 5 from 91-96). All-time great defender, sky high basketball IQ, outstanding playmaking skills and second in MVP voting in 93-94 when he put up 22-9-6-3 on 49%fg.

  • Armando

    ^third in MVP voting behind Olajuwon (27-12-4-2-4) and Robinson (30-11-5-2-3)

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    wade is deadlier… but lebron overall is just too overwhelming

  • http://google c_cantrell

    Good to some love for one of the best peremiter defenders in the game.

  • EJFANRS

    How is Andre Iguodala ranked as the 6th best SG in the NBA when he started 61 games at forward last season and has 341 games as a starting SF for his career to just 212 as a starting shooting guard? How is Andre Iguodala ranked higher than Eric Gordon? Iguodala averaged just 14.1 points per game to Gordon’s 22.3 points per game last season.

  • Drig

    Nets or Clips and I’m sold.

    Iggy+DWill+Lopez = Awesome.

    Iggy+BGriff+Gordon = More awesome.

    More awesomeness is always a good thing :P

  • http://slamonline.com/ Peter Walsh

    @EJFANRS rankings are based on projected performance for the upcoming season…many, including myself, believe that Dre will be moved once this CBA nonsense is taken care of. I believe that his true value will be shown once he is with a new team, and his ranking will be merited

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    armando deron williams really isn’t overrated… he’s arguably the best pg in the nba and he’s a real 2-way player who is a force on both ends… dirk is only decent on defense that’s why i have him lower.

  • EJFANRS

    @Peter Walsh many of the rumors have Iguodala being moved to the Clippers to play SF. I will ask agian. How is Andre Iguodala the 6th best shooting guard in the NBA? He is a SF, and if he gets traded to the Clippers, he will play SF.

  • Irfan

    I didn’t pay attention but is Iguodala a SG? Isn’t that a mistake? I thought he was a SF, and nba.com places him in the “forwaqrd” category for stats.

  • Irfan

    “forward” category*

  • RaZkOL

    Dre is a small forward. Says so on NBA 2K11!

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    i would call iggy a swingman… but if I had to pick one he’s a forward

  • badass

    Dre is versitle player. He can pretty much play all position but center. And he as play all four position in Philly. He’s mainly a 3 but he played a lot of 2 because of young. And there is no comparison between iggy and Gordon. I love Gordon but if he was place in the same position as iggy he wouldn’t be putting up the same numbers. He’s obviously a better offensive player but iggy beat him in all other categories and all the other little things that’s not shown on the stat sheet. I believe iggy deserves to be higher but hell that’s just my opinion.

  • http://yahoo.com Sean2LH

    prior to this season, his averages were 18.2ppg 5.7rpg 5.7apg (06-07), 19.9ppg 5.4rpg 4.8 apg (07-08), 18.8ppg 5.7rpg 5.3apg (08-09), 17.1ppg 6.5rpg 5.8apg (09-10). those are really great numbers and yet he was snub for being an All-star.

    Iggy only averaged 11 shots last season. Plus he was hurt. The offense wasn’t really focused on him, he was asked to play a different role (point forward & stopper). that being said, he was still second in scoring behind Brand.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Sean2LH

    Iggy only averaged 11 shots last season. Plus he was hurt. The offense wasn’t really focused on him, he was asked to play a different role (point forward & stopper). that being said, he was still second in scoring behind Brand.

    prior to this season, his averages were 18.2ppg 5.7rpg 5.7apg (06-07), 19.9ppg 5.4rpg 4.8 apg (07-08), 18.8ppg 5.7rpg 5.3apg (08-09), 17.1ppg 6.5rpg 5.8apg (09-10). those are really great numbers and yet he was snub for being an All-star.

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