Kevin Durant’s Injury Reminds Warriors of Andre Iguodala’s Real Value

Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesErik MalinowskiGolden State Warriors Lead WriterMarch 31, 2017

With any expostulate and kick-out for a dilemma three, with any opening pass that leads to a layup, with any high-arching buzzer-beater that swishes by nylon, Andre Iguodala makes a Golden State Warriors offseason all a some-more interesting.


Despite Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant both confronting a awaiting of giveaway agency, a thought that both will sojourn with a Warriors is a nearby certainty.

With Iguodala, a resources are distant some-more complicated, though his value to a Warriors has never been higher. Since Durant went down with a sprained MCL a month ago, Iguodala has delivered more mins and aloft descent potency opposite a board, and his invulnerability alone creates him a top-20 player in a NBA over a past month. 

Against a San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, as Golden State went down by 22 points in a initial quarter, it was Iguodala’s participation that, in a difference of conduct manager Steve Kerr, “settled us down.” His looping jumper as a first-quarter horn sounded cut a Spurs’ lead to a some-more docile 16.

In a end, a Warriors won 110-98 to extend their win strain to nine, a run that gets another exam Friday when a Houston Rockets lapse to Oracle Arena.

Durant still isn’t approaching behind for during slightest another 7 to 10 days, that means Iguodala needs to say this widen of play roughly until a playoffs start. But that’s when a rotations tie up, and you’d see Iguodala’s mins fire adult anyway.

In other words, Iguodala is putting out playoff-level prolongation right now for a group in need of such a boost. Along with his mins being up, so is his field-goal commission on both twos and threes. Meanwhile, his turnovers are down.

Iguodala’s potential return for 2017-18 and over starts, suitably enough, with Durant. He will positively practice his opt-out proviso this summer, and that would meant dual choices: 

  1. Durant signs a max contract, definition he would make $35.7 million, income that would count opposite Golden State’s salary-cap space.
  2. Durant re-signs regulating his non-Bird rights and gets paid $31.8 million. That would concede a Warriors a kind of top coherence to pointer any of their obligatory giveaway agents.

The latter choice would expected meant new contracts for both Iguodala and backup indicate ensure Shaun Livingston during rates co-ordinate with their experience. If given a chance, Golden State would keep both players though hesitation.

Cameron Browne/Getty Images

But if Durant doesn’t take what would volume to a $4 million haircut subsequent season—as is his right—the Warriors would not usually have to select between Iguodala and Livingston, though they also would be exceedingly hamstrung as to how most they could offer possibly player. They would also be hampered in lower-level signings.

How most of a compensate cut would Iguodala be peaceful to take? That’s where it gets tricky.

Iguodala incited 33 in January. This is his 13th deteriorate in a league. There’s a lot of step on his tires—he even once led a joining in mins played—and this is his final possibility during a kind of payday that creates entering giveaway group so lucrative.

But Iguodala, as most as Curry or any other Warrior, seems to penchant vital and operative in a Bay Area. In a summer of 2013, Iguodala implored his then-agent, stream Lakers ubiquitous manager Rob Pelinka, to concede GM Bob Myers some-more time to giveaway adult top space so he could pointer with a Warriors.

When Kerr arrived a year later, one of his vital decisions in training stay was to lay Iguodala down and tell his starting tiny forward—one Arizona Wildcat to another—that it was in a best seductiveness of a group (and a growth of a immature Harrison Barnes) that he take his talents to a second unit. He had 3 years and $36 million left on his deal.

Iguodala didn’t lift a stink. For his efforts and attitude, he now became one of a most fatal sixth men in a NBA. Eight months after a heart-to-heart with Kerr, Iguodala was named Finals MVP, his smothering invulnerability on LeBron James a essential reason given a Warriors won their initial championship in 40 years.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Now, after 4 years by a Bay, Iguodala’s roots run deep. He’s enthralled in a Silicon Valley venture-capital stage and has turn an entrepreneur and early-stage investor in all from nap record companies to Derek Jeter’s website, The Players’ Tribune. If Iguodala knows what he’s doing, he’s set to make distant some-more income from his investments after his career is over than from any free-agent agreement he signs now.

The Warriors wish that’s a reality, given Iguodala’s fanciful roof for a new agreement might be stretching aloft with any win he helps facilitate. Golden State execs have prolonged famous and appreciated his value and significance to a team, even though a ostentatious numbers.

When a Warriors hosted Oklahoma City in November, amid all a hype of Durant’s confronting off opposite Russell Westbrook, it was Iguodala who scored usually 3 points in 25 mins of movement though posted a game-high indicate differential of plus-34. It was a quintessential Iguodala box-score showing.

But now that Iguodala is putting adult the kind of stats that should aver legit care for a Sixth Man of a Year Award, Golden State’s palm might be forced this offseason.

Whatever Iguodala (and, by extension, Durant) decides this Jun is a matter for then, though don’t consider Warriors coronet isn’t meditative about all of this right now.

 

Warriors Insider’s Notebook

Home Cookin’

Noah Graham/Getty Images

With usually 7 games to go in a unchanging season, a Warriors will hardly be withdrawal a Bay Area and have set themselves adult to accumulate movement streamer into a playoffs.

Sitting on a nine-game winning streak, they horde a Rockets—who formerly finished a 12-game winning strain for a Dubs behind in Dec with a double-overtime victory—on Friday and afterwards a Washington Wizards on Sunday.

After that, a report gets easier, with 3 of 4 home games opposite non-playoff teams (Minnesota, New Orleans, Lakers) and a one highway diversion opposite a gloomy Phoenix Suns.

The Utah Jazz, entrance to Oracle for a penultimate diversion of a season, figure to be a usually exam in a final 5 games. And by then, both teams will expected have sealed adult their postseason seeding, so there could be mixed players resting within any roster…

 

Return of KD?

Noah Graham/Getty Images

…Except that Utah game, on a Monday during home, with a playoffs set to flog off that Saturday, would offer as a ideal impulse for Durant to make his return.

Durant has been out given spraining his MCL opposite Washington on Feb. 28. Since then, a Warriors are 11-4.

The Warriors gave an refurbish Wednesday on Durant’s condition, observant there had been no setbacks and that he’d be re-evaluated in 7 to 10 days.

That would put a bull’s-eye for a intensity lapse Apr 8, a Saturday diversion opposite New Orleans.

But if we allow to a thought that Durant usually needs one or dual games to get his stroke back, a some-more judicious approach to ensue would be to wait until that Monday opposite Utah and play him 20-25 minutes, afterwards adult that to 25-30 mins in a deteriorate culmination opposite a Lakers.

The Warriors will afterwards have dual full rest days until a playoffs start. By that point, Golden State’s training staff will know what kind of effort Durant can hoop in a initial turn opposite (in all likelihood) a Portland Trail Blazers.

 

Erik Malinowski is the Golden State Warriors lead author for B/R. Quotes performed firsthand unless differently noted. You can follow him on Twitter: @erikmal. All stats via NBA.com and Basketball-Reference.com.


Do you have an unusual story to tell? E-mail stories@tutuz.com