Less than an hour after it was reported that the Miami Heat had declined the $15 million option on the contract of Andre Iguodala, the former NBA Finals MVP is already being linked to the Golden State Warriors.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there’s a good chance Iggy will return to his former Warriors team once free agency opens up on Monday.
“The momentum behind an Andre Iguodala return to Golden State is bubbling strong already after Miami declined Iguodala’s 2021-22 team option,” Stein reported.
This really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP had in the past made it clear that he’d like to retire with the Warriors after being an integral part in their rebirth as a relevant NBA entity.
Andre Iguodala starred for the Warriors from 2013-19, averaging 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists while acting the part of one of the best perimeter defenders in the Association. That’s what led to him earning the NBA Finals MVP against then-Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James back in 2015.
Analyzing the Andre Iguodala, Golden State Warriors fit
Surprisingly, Golden State used both of its lottery picks in the 2021 NBA Draft on teenage prospects. Reports ahead of the annual event indicated that the Warriors were looking to package those picks and other assets for a star player.
While that could still end up coming to fruition this summer, Golden State’s brass has muted expectations in that regard. Instead, the Warriors have publicly noted that they are looking to add multiple veteran players on the NBA free agent market.
Obviously, Iguodala would sit atop that list. He’s seen a downtick in production since leaving Golden State following the 2018-19 season and will likely be looking at a veteran minimum deal. His familiarity with Steve Kerr’s system will also play a role here.
On the court, Iguodala is probably good for roughly 20 minutes per game. That’s what he averaged with the Miami Heat a season ago. It’s in this that he could back up Andrew Wiggins at the small forward position while also taking some minutes at two-guard until Klay Thompson returns from his most-recent injury.
Iguodala, 37, averaged 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists for the Heat a season ago. He also put up a defensive plus-minus of 1.8. That represents his best mark since 2014-15.