Shams Charania of The Vertical is reporting that Andre Iguodala plans to seriously consider signing elsewhere, and leaving the Golden State Warriors, when free agency opens up on July 1.
The Wolves are in search of adding veterans and defensive minded wings to surround their young scoring core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine, which makes Iguodala a logical player to target this offseason. They are listed as one of six teams that have interest in pursuing Igoudala, according to league sources.
The article notes there is belief around the league that Iguodala could reach $20 million annually given the market for two-way wings.
Sources: Andre Iguodala – core part of Warriors titles – plans to seriously consider free-agent overtures elsewhere. https://t.co/tRgXYtw2Mq— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 19, 2017
Iggy has been a key member of the Warriors over the past four seasons, and he is easily one of the better small forwards on the open market this summer (Gordon Hayward, Otto Porter, and Andre Roberson are the cream of the crop). Kevin Durant isn’t going anywhere, though his decision to opt in or opt out of his $27.7 million contract, or signing a new one altogether starting at $35.7 million (according to this), will play a significant role in the Warriors ability to retain Iguodala.
Zach Lowe followed up with this interesting response on Twitter:
Still think he stays in GSW, but among teams listed here, especially keep an eye on the Wolves. https://t.co/PvpWUYMCUB— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 19, 2017
My gut tells me the Warriors will figure out a way to keep him in Golden State as their versatile sixth man, but if the Wolves offer Iguodala one last big contract between $18-20 million annually, along with a significant role, that could be enough to pry him away.
Iguodala will turn 34 next season, meaning his best days of basketball are behind him, and a longer contract (something like 3-years, $60 million) could look bad one year from now if he regresses in a larger role, but Thibodeau may envision him as the perfect sixth man who is already used to coming off the bench and can play in a variety of lineups to sure up the defense (defensive rating: 112.0 = 27th of 30).
Iguodala’s playmaking and perimeter defense would easily help the team if he somehow ends up in Minneapolis. His veteran leadership would also be a key addition to the locker room. But his age should be a concern when talking about handing out $20 million per season, and perhaps that money would be better used elsewhere on a younger player that fits the current window of this team and can grow with the core over the next handful of years. On the flip side, the Wolves absolutely need to add players like Iguodala. He can defend. He’s a champion. He’s unselfish. Those are qualities that would certainly help.
I still have a hard time seeing Igoudala being interested in leaving the Golden State Empire for the upstart Wolves, but as Thibs said during his season ending press conference, money is typically the most important factor in free agency. Iguodala may have money on his mind now that he has secured a second championship ring.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, the most important thing will be the money and then after that they look at the roster,” said Thibodeau. “How do they fit in? How does that make the team?”
Iguodala would fit in well, as they absolutely need defensive minded players, and most definitely need veterans, and the Wolves have plenty of money to spend this summer. Thus, he makes some sense as a free agent to pursue, so keep an eye on him once July 1 rolls around.
*Update as of 3:35 central time: Kevin Durant will decline his player option for the 2017-18 season, paving the way for another one-plus-one deal “in order to improve the Warriors’ chances of re-signing reserve stud Andre Iguodala.”