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3 Instant Reactions to Andre Iguodala Re-Signing with Warriors for Final NBA Season

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 23, 2022

Andre Iguodala (Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

Andre Iguodala announced Friday he's re-signing with the Golden State Warriors to play the final season of his NBA career.

Iguodala, who's won four championships across two stints with the dynastic Dubs, confirmed the decision on his Point Forward podcast (via ESPN's Kendra Andrews).

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP noted he doesn't expect to see the floor too often during his 19th NBA campaign as the Warriors lean more heavily on younger players.

"I'm looking forward to playing, but I am on [Jonathan] Kuminga, Moses Moody," the 38-year-old forward said. "I am on the young fellas and I'm letting them know if I get on this court, you ain't doing something right. No way you should allow me to get on the court."

He also delivered a message to Golden State cornerstone Stephen Curry, a longtime friend and teammate: "I'm letting you know, Steph, this the last one."

Let's check out some key storylines ahead of his final season.


Warriors Taking No Chances Ahead of Repeat Bid

Golden State didn't need to bring back Iguodala to remain among the NBA's top championship contenders, but it's a no-risk move to provide both depth and leadership.

Kerr referenced that role a few weeks ago when asked on 95.7 The Game radio (via Joey Linn of Sports Illustrated) about whether the University of Arizona product was returning for 2022-23.

"We hope he comes back," Kerr said. "... There's going to be times during the season where he'll be healthy and helping us win games and they'll be times where he's not playing but still patrolling that locker room and making sure guys are learning how to win and how to be champions."

On-court production is always central to a title pursuit, but off-court intangibles are also a key part of the equation, and that's why a player who averaged just 4.0 points across 31 appearances last season is being welcomed back with open arms.

Iguodala is going to provide the Warriors with plenty of value despite coming nowhere close to the nearly 20 points per game he put up during his prime with the Philadelphia 76ers.


Iguodala Trending Toward Udonis Haslem-Type Role?

The comments by Iguodala and Kerr strongly suggest he isn't going to play anywhere close to 82 regular-season games. It'll be a light workload for much of the campaign.

It's reminiscent of Haslem, who hasn't played more than 16 games for the Miami Heat in any of the past six years. The 42-year-old post player announced in August he's returning for a 20th season, likely in the same mentorship role.

Iguodala could always see his involvement increase if Golden State is dealing with injuries. It's also possible his minutes go up come playoff time if younger members of the roster haven't made as much progress as the coaching staff is seeking.

It's an arrangement that wouldn't make sense for every team, but for clubs like the Warriors and Heat, who are firmly in their championship window, a seasoned veteran to help guide the locker room is a worthwhile investment.


A Final Opportunity To Bolster Hall of Fame Résumé

Although Iguodala's baseline NBA numbers aren't at a typical Hall of Fame level, his overall list of accomplishments give him an outside shot to reach Springfield.

Along with the four titles and the Finals MVP, he earned an All-Star selection with the Sixers in 2012 and was a NBA All-Defensive first-team choice during his first stay with Golden State in 2014. He also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics.

Basketball Reference's Hall of Fame probability tracker lists Iguodala with a 12.7 percent chance to get enshrined entering his final season, which is probably a fair estimate. He's a long shot but it's not totally out of the question.

Winning a fifth championship with the Warriors next June, perhaps with a few impactful games in the postseason along the way, would give a final boost to those odds before he heads into retirement.

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