The Good and Bad of the Golden State Warriors Signing Andre Iguodala
The Golden State Warriors have just made their biggest splash in the 2013 offseason so far. They managed to snatch Andre Iguodala from the Denver Nuggets by offering him a four-year $52 million contract (via ESPN).
Although Iguodala is already an established player in this league and teams know what they're getting out of him, his contract will hinder the Warriors from adding other major pieces to their squad in the next upcoming years.
There's no question that he would bring a lot to the table for a young Warriors team who reached the playoffs for the first time in six years, but there are a few downsides, as Iguodala will turn 30 by the end of next season and his ceiling is extremely low at this point.
Good: Great Athletic Wing Defender
Defense has been Iguodala's bread and butter for the past several seasons, and that's why he was offered a big contract.
On top of being a solid, all-around offensive player, Iguodala's skills on the defensive end of the court is why he is sought after by many teams.
In the 2012-13 season with the Nuggets, Iguodala held opposing shooting guards to a PER of 12.7, and opposing small forwards to a PER of 9.9 (per 82games.com). It looks even more impressive when you consider that the small forward position is one of the deepest and most talented in the league today.
Although Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are quickly developing into solid perimeter defenders, they are still nowhere near the intelligence and tenacity level of Iguodala.
Bad: Stunts the Development of Thompson and Barnes
Iguodala is not getting paid $14 million a year to be a bench player.
It's still unclear if Thompson and Barnes will remain Warriors in the future, because it's hard to see them staying when Iguodala arrives and creates a logjam at the wing positions.
Nevertheless, Thompson and Barnes will surely see their playing time decrease next season if they're not gone. Barnes, who had a breakout postseason and saw his averages increase across the board, probably won't experience a similar situation again with Iguodala around.
Thompson, 23, and Barnes, 21, have both found themselves in a perfect situation with the Warriors. With a young core on the team, they should be planning to develop and grow together after getting into the playoffs for the first time in their young careers.
It doesn't look to be that way unfortunately, as Iguodala's presence will come at the expense of Thompson and Barnes.
Good: Veteran Leader and Presence
Iguodala isn't exactly the perfect example of a "playoff-tested veteran," as he only played in a total of 41 playoff games in his nine-year career and only made it past the first round once.
However, he has more experience than any other player on the Warriors roster at the moment.
Under those pressure situations, Iguodala doesn't falter. In the 2013 postseason, he averaged 18.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 5.3 APG on 50 percent shooting from the field. Although the Nuggets lost, Iguodala wasn't the scapegoat for their struggles in the postseason.
If the rest of the roster stays intact, Iguodala will be the second-oldest player on the roster, which may, or may not, be a good thing.
Bad: Contract Limits Future Negotiations
The Warriors were somehow able to dump the bloated contracts of both Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins to the Utah Jazz, freeing-up room to sign Iguodala.
However, is giving $14 million a year to a player who has already reached his prime a few years ago really worth the hassle?
The Warriors are a young team with two core players—Thompson and Barnes—still on their rookie scale contracts. The signing of Iguodala will make it harder for the Warriors to keep both of them for the future.
Furthermore, Iguodala isn't the type of player who can push a team into championship contention. The Warriors were already set at the wing positions as well, so any quick judgements made about this trade are going to be inaccurate if the Warriors are hatching a different plan behind closed doors.
Good: Versatile Offensive Player
Although Iguodala is known as a defensive specialist and one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, he still brings a lot to the table on the other end of the floor.
For his career, he boasts averages of 15.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG and 4.9 APG (per Basketball Reference). If Stephen Curry needs a break from running the offense, Iguodala can become a secondary playmaker in a pinch. His court vision and passing skills are some of his more under-appreciated skills, and that's what separates him from some of the other swingmen in the league.
Iguodala shouldn't be relied on running the offense for extending periods of time, as his assist-turnover ratio isn't spectacular by any means. He can spell Curry and take some of the burden off of his shoulders when called upon.