With the NBA's moratorium period over, the Golden State Warriors' agreement in principle has now been finalized, as the team has acquired veteran guard/forward Andre Iguodala in a sign-and-trade deal from the Denver Nuggets, and guard Kevin Murphy from the Utah Jazz as part of a three-team trade.
“Andre Iguodala was a free agent that we targeted from Day 1 and we are thrilled that he chose to join our team,” said Warriors General Manager Bob Myers. “His versatility as a player should help us tremendously on both sides of the court and we feel that his specific, unique skill set blends very well with the players already on our roster. Additionally, he will serve as a great asset to our young team as we continue to grow and develop in the coming years.”
As part of the deal, the Warriors sent center Andris Biedrins, forward Richard Jefferson, swingman Brandon Rush, two future first round picks in 2014 and 2017, two future second round (2016 & 2017) draft picks, and cash to the Jazz.
In addition, the Warriors sent a future second round (2018) draft pick to the Nuggets. The Nuggets also received guard Randy Foye in a sign-and-trade deal from Utah, while the Jazz also received a future second round (2018) pick from Denver.
Iguodala, 29, is a nine-year NBA veteran and an All-Star caliber player who owns career averages of 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.74 steals.
An athletic perimeter defender and thunderous finisher who can also stick his fair share of treys, Iguodala's best role may be as a do-it-all, glue guy type -- and a physically gifted one at that -- who can both complement and rise to the occasion when needed. His 5.4 assists per game average ranked third among all NBA shooting guards, behind only Kobe Byrant (6 apg) and James Harden (5.8 apg).
With Iguodala, the Warriors will feature an impressive perimeter quartet that already includes Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes at the 1, 2, and 3 respectively.
Moreover, his addition also will help absorb the free agent losses of Sixth-Man point guard Jarrett Jack and hustling big man Carl Landry.
Iguodala also has had some nice moments in big games, averaging 18 points, 8 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2 steals in 40.6 minutes in Denver’s first round playoff series against Golden State. He also earned gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey as a member of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team.
More importantly, the Warriors gave up relatively little for a quality player still in his prime.
Given the Warriors impressive playoff run in 2013, the 2014 first rounder they gave away is not expected to be a lottery pick.
In addition, the loss of Biedrins, 27, should not be significant because he has yet to regain the confidence that made him so effective early in his career. He appeared in 53 games for the Warriors last season, averaging just 0.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.79 blocks in 9.3 minutes per contest.
Jefferson, 33, is on his last legs, and was used sparingly in the playoffs by Coach Mark Jackson. He appeared in 56 games with Golden State last season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.1 minutes per contest.
As for Rush, the 28-year-old swingman is facing major questions after missing the final 80 games last season with a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee. Iguodala would essentially play the same two positions as Rush, but would constitute a healthier upgrade.
Meanwhile, the Denver Nuggets' acquisition of streaky combo guard Randy Foye -- probably the second best player in the deal -- should partly offset the loss of Iguodala's point production.
Foye, 6-4, 220, averaged 10.8 points and 2 assists while making a franchise-record 178 3-pointers for the Jazz last season. A bit undersized defensively when he plays at the 2, he can at least make up for it at the other end when he gets on a roll from the outside.
Foye was one of only five NBA players to shoot better than .400 from 3-point range while taking at least 400 attempts.
“Randy is one of the most dangerous 3-point shooters in the game today,” Connelly said. “He addresses a major need for us on the perimeter, and he will also provide great veteran leadership for our young players.”
By Staff of The Daily Sports Herald and news services