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Andre Iguodala Rumors: Lakers, Warriors Linked After Heat Contract Option Declined

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 1, 2021

Miami Heat forward Andre Iguodala (28) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 14, 2021, in Denver. The Nuggets won 123-106. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

A pair of NBA title contenders have already been rumored as interested suitors for veteran wing Andre Iguodala after ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the Miami Heat declined his option for the 2021-22 season.

Arash Markazi of The Mightier 1090 noted Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka was once Iguodala's agent and that the Lakers "are a team in play."

The Associated Press' Tim Reynolds also reported the 37-year-old is expected to reach out to the Golden State Warriors, for whom he played six seasons.

Golden State is shaping up as the early favorite.

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA

Andre Iguodala back to the Warriors for the minimum or for the Tax MLE seems like the lockiest of locks.

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

The momentum behind an Andre Iguodala return to Golden State is bubbling strong already after Miami declined Iguodala's 2021-22 team option.<br><br>As Warriors owner Joe Lacob told <a href="https://twitter.com/anthonyVslater?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@anthonyVslater</a>: "Now we add a few veterans. Weโ€™re going to do that. Youโ€™ll see in the next few days."

The Warriors and Lakers are both in the same position for the most part. They have a handful of big salaries eating up a sizable portion of their payroll, thus limiting how much money they have available for the rest of the roster.

Los Angeles is in a particularly tough spot after striking a reported agreement to trade Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell to the Washington Wizards for Russell Westbrook.

Iguodala made 63 appearances for the Heat, averaging 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 21.3 minutes on the floor. He shot a career-worst 38.3 percent from the field, in large part because nearly three-fourths (73.4 percent) of his shot attempts were three-pointers, per Basketball Reference.

The three-time NBA champion remained a solid defender, though. He held opposing players to 33.8 percent shooting on threes and 33.1 percent on shots beyond 15 feet, according to NBA.com.

Because of his continuity with head coach Steve Kerr and the trio of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Iguodala is an obvious target for the Warriors. He could spell Andrew Wiggins at the 3 when Kerr wants a more defensive lineup on the floor.

The fit with the Lakers is a little less seamless since Los Angeles needs shooters right now. Lining up Westbrook with Anthony Davis and LeBron James will create obvious issues in terms of spacing the floor.

Iguodala's experience and perimeter defending would be valuable for L.A., but he wouldn't address the biggest area of concern for that roster.