Nuggets forward Andre Iguodala plans to opt out of contract to enter free agency

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Adrian Wojnarowski
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Denver Nuggets forward Andre Iguodala has decided to opt out of the final year of his contract and enter free agency, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

Iguodala, 29, promises to be one of the most desired players on the summer market. His agent, Rob Pelinka, informed Denver CEO Josh Kroenke of the plan in a meeting on Thursday in Los Angeles.

"We are fully aware of Andre's intentions and he's well aware of how much we want him back," Kroenke told Yahoo! Sports Friday afternoon. "Andre is a huge priority for our organization."

Iguodala will bypass the $15.9 million owed him next season and will be eligible to sign a new four-year deal elsewhere or sign an extension up to five years with the Nuggets.

Iguodala has until June 25 to exercise the early termination clause on his contract, and virtually all players wait until the deadline to file the necessary paperwork. Without triggering the opt-out cause, Iguodala could only sign a three-year extension with Denver.

After superstars Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, Iguodala will be a target for several teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Detroit Pistons and New Orleans Pelicans, league sources said.

Kroenke expressed a strong desire to keep Iguodala, but the losses of general manager Masai Ujiri and coach George Karl makes the franchise's future a little murky. Nevertheless, Kroenke is expected to have a GM and coach hired with time to formulate a vision and offer to try to keep Iguodala in Denver.

Iguodala has previously expressed a strong fondness for the Nuggets organization and his teammates, and his decision to opt out could ultimately lead to him signing an extension to stay in Denver.

After Iguodala joined the Nuggets as part of last summer's four-way Howard blockbuster, the franchise pushed higher on its rise as a Western Conference contender. As the Philadelphia 76ers struggled without his presence, Iguodala's all-around abilities and leadership meshed perfectly with a young Nuggets roster.

Iguodala played his best basketball in the playoffs for Denver, averaging 18 points, eight rebounds, 5.3 assists and two steals in the six-game loss to the Golden State Warriors. For the season, Iguodala – an extremely versatile defender – averaged 13 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists.

Iguodala played his first eight NBA seasons for the 76ers.

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