As the Golden State Warriors work to re-sign four core members of their championship team, the franchise is expected to receive the stiffest competition in free agency for Andre Iguodala, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.
Iguodala plans to seriously consider other teams in July, league sources told The Vertical. Prospective teams would need to show in meetings a vision to move toward contention to pry Iguodala from Golden State, league sources said. In four seasons with the Warriors, Iguodala, who made $11.1 million this past season, has served as a playmaker and primary wing defender and established himself as a high-character leader.
Many teams are expected to pursue discussions with Iguodala, including the Warriors, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks, league sources said. Among teams around the league, there’s a belief that the value this summer for a two-way wing such as Iguodala could reach $20 million annually.
Iguodala had 20 points, four rebounds and three assists in the Warriors’ Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Finals.
Iguodala joined the Warriors in 2013 and accepted a sixth-man role during the 2014-15 season, giving coach Steve Kerr flexibility to balance the rotation. He has been a critical part of two championship teams in three years. Iguodala changed the complexion of the 2015 Finals when he was inserted into the starting lineup midway through the series and won Finals MVP honors by averaging 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and four assists and serving as the primary defender on LeBron James. He is ranked fourth on The Vertical’s list of free-agent small forwards.
Along with free agents Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, the Warriors will also work to retain free agent Shaun Livingston this offseason. Ian Clark, a reserve guard entering free agency, is expected to garner strong interest as well.
Golden State’s salary situation will be complicated, even with Durant possibly willing to accept approximately $3.5 million less in salary in a one-year deal to accommodate the re-signing of the team’s core players. For the Warriors, there will be a priority placed on keeping Iguodala because of his vital role with a potential dynasty.
If Durant opts out of his contract and signs a one-year deal in July, the Warriors will be able to exceed their salary cap to keep Iguodala and Livingston because of their Bird Rights.
Iguodala, 33, has played 13 NBA seasons. He’s a former NBA All-Star who has made two All-Defensive teams. Iguodala also won two gold medals with USA Basketball as part of the 2010 World Championship team and 2012 Olympic team.
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