Andre Iguodala opted out of the final year of his contract and is walking away from $16.2 million to secure a long-term deal. Iguodala is a consummate professional, and he is exactly what the Golden State Warriors need.
This past season, he fueled the Denver Nuggets to 57 wins in the regular season.
Iguodala has been in the league for nine years and has made the postseason in six of those nine years. He is a class act on and off the court, has only missed a handful of games in his career, is still under 30 years old and fills up the stat sheet night-in and night-out. What’s not to like about Iguodala?
On most nights, Iguodala can match up against the opponent’s star guards or small forward. His athleticism, wingspan and defensive ferocity is arguably ranked among the best in the league, and there is no doubt that he adds something the Warriors currently don’t have on their roster.
Iguodala also has all the tools on offense; he is not a volume 3-point shooter, but he can post-up, create his own shot, move without the ball, and finish in the lane. He has great size, can play multiple positions, will create mismatches, and can even run the offense. Iguodala owns career averages of 15.1PPG, 5.8RPG, 4.9APG, 1.8SPG and shoots 46 percent overall, 33 percent from beyond the arc, and 72 percent from the free throw line.
Iguodala or not, the Warriors need an athletic wing who can guard the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Paul George. Every team needs a big man, some 3-point specialists, and a defensive stopper. The Warriors have traded for a big man in Bogut and have plenty of 3-point shooters in Curry and Thompson. Now, they just need a defensive stopper.
Iguodala will come at a hefty price, and judging the Warriors’ salary cap situation, the Warriors don’t have much to work with. Ideally, the Warriors will stay put with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes and build on last season’s Western Conference Semifinals appearance.
Through time, Barnes can become an Iguodala type of player. However, in this day and age and a win-now mentality, the Warriors don’t have much time. The services of Iguodala could make them legitimate contenders in the West.
If it were a sign-and-trade, Thompson and Barnes are likely candidates the Denver Nuggets are interested in. I would love to see the Warriors package a deal to acquire Iguodala and Andre Miller from the Nuggets and let Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack walk away. Free agency negotiations begin July 1, and I can’t wait.