Warriors Rumors: Latest on Andre Iguodala and Alen Smailagic

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2021

Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) against the Denver Nuggets during an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Entering the offseason, the Golden State Warriors figured to make a splash, signing a star to go alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green in hopes of rekindling the championship atmosphere surrounding the team.

Majority owner Joe Lacob informed The Athletic's Antony Slater that most likely will not be the case, saying the team has all of the stars it needs to chase a title.

What might happen, though, is a reunion with a player instrumental in the Warriors' success over the last decade and the establishment of their championship dynasty.


Andre Iguodala Heading Back West?

After the Miami Heat declined his 2021-22 option, former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala could be on his way back to the team with which he won three world titles.

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn

The Heat are declining the $15M team option on F Andre Iguodala’s contract for next season, making him a free agent, source tells ESPN.

Marc Stein reported there is considerable momentum for the two sides to come to a deal.

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. As Warriors owner Joe Lacob told @anthonyVslater: "Now we add a few veterans. We’re going to do that. You’ll see in the next few days."

Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reported the sides are set to talk during the free agency period. Couple those reports with Lacob teasing the addition of veteran players and you have plenty of reason to believe Iguodala might be on his way back to partner with Curry, Green and Clay Thompson in search of a fourth title.

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

Andre Iguodala is expected to speak with the Golden State Warriors during free agency, per source.

At 38 years old, the likelihood that Iguodala would be the player he was when he was winning those titles is low. He was a contributor to the Miami Heat during the 2019-20 season, in which they reached the finals, but was not the impactful player he had been previously.

What Iguodala brings to the table, though, is veteran leadership and a sense of familiarity within the building. He is also close with Curry, going to bat for the superstar in the media on more than one occasion. Their relationship will, if nothing else, help lighten things up for a player and team facing scrutiny and intense media attention all of the time.

His history in big games, including championship-clinching ones, makes him an asset.

He may not score a ton of points or grab as many offensive and defensive boards, but his awareness and ability to knock down a key shot in a high-pressure situation are invaluable once the schedule toughens and the postseason arrives.

It may not be the flashy signing that Warriors fans anticipated when the 2020-21 season wrapped up, but it is a move that would bring a beloved figure home and a sense of comfort to the teams' top stars.


Warriors to Waive Alen Smailagic

The ill-fated Alen Smailagic experiment appears to be over in the Bay Area.

The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported the team will waive the 2019 second-round pick prior to his contract guaranteeing on August 6. He had two more non-guaranteed seasons on the deal, Slater said.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Source: The Warriors will waive Alen Smailagic before his contract guarantees on August 6th. He had two more non-guaranteed seasons remaining on his deal. Took him 39th in 2019 draft. Didn't pan out. This frees up an extra 15-man spot as they add to the roster in coming days.

Warriors first-round draft pick (seventh overall) Jonathan Kuminga is expected to slide into Smailagic's spot in the team, per Slater.

Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater

I'd put it this way: Jonathan Kuminga will essentially slide into the Alen Smailagic roster spot for the Warriors.

Smailagic never played high-level basketball of any kind prior to entering the league. He played for the third-tier Beko team in Serbia. When he debuted for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA's G-League, he was the youngest player to ever do so.

After being drafted by the Pelicans and traded to the Warriors, he signed the aforementioned deal.

It was all downhill from there.

Injury and sub-par numbers hurt his stature with the team. He averaged just three points a game on 46-percent shooting. His career high for a single game? 10 points.

That he struggled to understand and execute the basic plays and concepts handed down from the coaches did not help matters.

His departure opens up a roster spot as free agency commences Monday.