Monday, July 8, 2013

Warriors Sign Iguodala; Opt Out On Howard

After falling in the Western Conference Semi-Finals last year to the San Antonio Spurs, the Golden State Warriors immediately began looking for pieces to help them go even further in the playoffs in the 2013-2014 season.

With almost the entire NBA on the watch for Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, one of the other top free agents seemed an afterthought for teams looking to acquire one of the leagues best big men.
But Iguodala is exactly whom the Warriors got, once Golden State seemed an afterthought for Howard, who hours later signed with the Houston Rockets.

In getting Iguodala, the Warriors traded away big man Andris Biedrins, swingmen Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson. Biedrins and Jefferson were the bigger parts in acquiring a high profile free agent, as the two players had a combined $20 million in contracts due for the 2013-2014 season. Rush, who was injured almost all of last season, and during the Warriors first playoff appearance in seven years, was due just under $5 million this coming year. Those three players along with first round draft picks in 2014 and 2017 along with two undisclosed second round picks headed to the Utah Jazz, who helped the Warriors clear enough space to sign Iguodala, who signed a four-year $48 million contract.

While Iguodala brings an immediate impact to the floor in both the defense and offense sides of the game, the Warriors are now shorter on the bench in terms of quality of players. Whereas last year they were one of the deeper teams in the league, and were able to overcome injuries to key players such as Andrew Bogut, Steph Curry, David Lee and Brandon Rush.

With the Iguodala signing the Warriors also passed up on the ability to resign back up point guard Jarret Jack and back up power forward Carl Landry, who signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Sacramento Kings respectively.

So what can the Warriors fans expect for the upcoming season with Iguodala in a Golden State jersey?

In my opinion Warriors fans can expect to see one of the best defensive players on the floor every night with Iguodala. During his nine seasons in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Denver Nuggets, he has only missed a total of 27 games, that’s an average of three games a season, but in five of those seasons he did not miss a single game.

Iguodala also gives the Warriors another six-foot-six body that can play any position from point-guard to power-forward with competency. In 695 career regular season games he has 78 double-doubles and nine triple-doubles, and averages 15.1 points per game with 5.8 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists per game.

In 41 post-season appearances over six seasons Iguodala averages 14.4 points per game with 6.0 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists per game with five double-doubles.

Should the Warriors face off against the San Antonio Spurs, or another team of the same caliber this upcoming season a player like Iguodala should help the Warriors get over the hump and hopefully a step closer to competing in the NBA Finals.