Don't look back, Andre Iguodala (Getty Images)
Writing anything that credits a team for not signing a certain player runs the risk of dismissing and disrespecting the player in question. We like Andre Iguodala’s game. Quite a bit, actually, and think that his defensive know-how and “you-first” offensive mindset could push a team over the top on their way to a championship someday.
Are those contributions worth a reported four years, and $56 million? That’s the sticking point. That’s what doesn’t make as much sense, especially to a team in as much flux as the Sacramento Kings are right now. The Kings offered and then rescinded their offer to Iguodala on Tuesday night, as reported by Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, taking that potential contract off the table when Iguodala hedged on rejoining the rebuilding Kings.
The Kings are now run by general manager Pete D’Alessandro, a former part of the Denver Nugget front office that dealt for Dre last summer. The current Nuggets swingman expectedly opted out of the final year of his contract in Denver even after a step-back season in terms of offensive production, looking to trade the final year (and significant chunk of change – over $16.1 million) for a longer deal that starts at a lower price but sustains him well into his 30s. It’s a common move that we’ve seen league-wide over the last few years, an understandable procedure.
What is less known is Iguodala’s value amongst the league. D’Alessandro was clearly keen on him, but only to a point. Woj reported that the Nuggets did meet with Iguodala on the first day of the dealing period, but it’s obvious that their contract offer was not as stout as the one Sacramento made. The Detroit Pistons have been rumored to be after the versatile two-way player, but it seems as if their offer won’t materialize until the dominos fall following Dwight Howard’s decision, and the trade-happy aftermath.
In the meantime, Dre has sent out some pretty revealing tweets, while biding his time:
— Andre Iguodala (@andre) July 3, 2013
Really?? Ok... MOTIVATION!!!!!! — Andre Iguodala (@andre) July 3, 2013
Incorrect on assumptions...
— Andre Iguodala (@andre) July 3, 2013
I still can’t get away from the feeling that the Kings dodged one, here.
Iguodala is a fabulous talent, but he’ll also turn 30 midway through 2013-14. The Kings have no idea how their next few months will shake out, the team has a litany of lottery picks left over from the Geoff Petrie era, it has DeMarcus Cousins’ contract extension situation to work through, and it also has to make a decision on whether or not to match the reported four-year, $44 million offer that the New Orleans Pelicans have sent Tyreke Evans’ way. There’s a chance this team could really, properly, clear house – and sticking a guy in his prime making eight figures a year at the top of this payroll really seems like a stretch.
This is a stretch – paying Andre Iguodala through his early 30s – that should be celebrated on a winning team. A team in need of an all-around contributor that can steam the creases, and lock down the LeBrons. I’m not saying Iguodala should be sussing out minimal options with contending teams, this is his last big contract and he should do what’s right for his family. There has to be a middle ground here, though, between going for bank with a team like the Kings or going for broke for a contender. You really wish another team, closer to that ring, could step up.
It’s been proven that Andre Iguodala is not the sort of guy you put as the lead image on your team’s program. His game is too nuanced, too reliant on things that don’t show up in typical box scores, to get away with that. Paying him like a franchise player won’t change that perception, it will only add to the noise, and get in the way of what could be a fantastic prime to this man’s career.
The Kings walked away from this one. And you get the feeling that they made the right move.
Iguodala? He’s smarting, but things could change. One wonders if, once all his stacks of change are aligned, he’s not going to miss the opportunity to spend his prime years rebuilding in Sacramento. This non-move was a win-win.
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