Late last week, Andre Iguodala re-signing with the Golden State Warriors was said to be Iguodala will seriously consider other teams in free agency, among them the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks and Utah Jazz., with only details of the deal to be hashed out. Now, Shams Charania of The Vertical is reporting that
It’s been rumored that Kevin Durant, who will opt out of his current deal this summer and presumably re-sign with Golden State on another short deal, would be willing to take less money to give the Warriors the flexibility to retain their core, including Iguodala. But if Charania’s report comes to fruition that there are teams out there willing to pay Iguodala in the ballpark of $20 million a year, the Warriors almost certainly won’t go that high.
Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News reported the Warriors and Iguodala were/are talking about a multi-year deal in the range of $8 million-$12 million annually.
Golden State can’t go much higher than that. Stephen Curry is going to get a max deal this summer, and Kevin Durant will get within a few million of the max; he has said he would be willing to take less if it means keeping the Warriors’ core intact. Still, there’s only so much money to spend before you go over the tax line and start compromising exceptions, which the Warriors will likely need to fill out their roster if they lose guys like Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark, which is a strong possibility.
Iguodala represents one of the toughest contract decisions for a team like Golden State — an aging player that may perform up to the money on the front end of a deal, but every year would become more and more of an anchor on your cap number. He still has a lot of value to the Warriors given all the talent they have around him. They don’t need him to score or create all that much; they don’t even really need him to be the athlete he once was, though he showed he can still be that in the open floor during this year’s Finals.
All Golden State needs Iguodala to do is continue to be a steadying presence as a sixth man, and come playoff time, continue to be a primary defender on guys like LeBron James for stretches. But again, how long can he continue to be that? He’s already far from the lock-down defender he once was, though so far, his instincts and still-lightning-quick hands have allowed him to stay impactful, and at times downright dominant.
Plus, there’s a chemistry element to consider here. When you’ve won two titles in three years, you don’t screw with that formula if there is anything you can do about it. Iguodala is not one of the core four — Curry, Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson — but he’s still the most important player outside that group.
But $20 million a year? No. Not a chance Golden State goes that high. Ultimately, the Warriors have that core four we just mentioned, specifically Curry and Durant, so they’re going to be fine without Iguodala if it comes to that. At this point, a lot of this will likely come down to how much money Iguodala is willing to concede to remain a part of a budding dynasty.