NBA Rumor: Andre Iguodala Free Agency

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Andre Iguodala joining Lakers this season?

The Lakers will likely have to fix this issue in order to keep playing basketball in June. How they will achieve that remains to be seen but ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan revealed on the Hoop Collective podcast that several players around the league have told her they are convinced Grizzlies’ forward Andre Iguodala will join the Lakers at some point in the season: “He’s going to the Lakers. I’ve had four different players tell me that. Every player I talk to tells me that.”

Citing the business of basketball and insisting he’s always aware of that aspect, he says he was not surprised by the trade. But it’s evident he’s not exactly eager to join the Grizzlies. “We’ll see,” he says. “OK, maybe I shouldn’t say we’ll see. But we’re trying to figure out things on both sides. They’re trying to figure out some things, and I’m trying to figure out some things. As of today, we’re on the same page. Camp opens the next week. We’ll see. We’re on the same page, though.”

There has been talk of a buyout deal with the Grizzlies. There also have been reports that Memphis does not plan to go that route. Asked if a buyout still is possible, Iguodala neither confirms nor denies the likelihood. Rather, he states his position on the matter. “At this point, the only buyout that makes sense — if I’m speaking on someone else’s behalf, thinking as an agent — is you don’t leave money on the table,” he says. “Especially in this league. Because you’ll never get it back, no matter what people say. Negotiations are a tactic, so you’ve got to be careful how you approach it, or how you verbalize what you would do going forward. But you can’t leave anything on the table.”

The 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors have re-signed free agents Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Zaza Pachulia and David West to contracts, the team announced today. Per team policy, terms of the agreements were not released. Curry, 29, averaged a team-high 25.3 points per game (10th in the NBA) in 2016-17 to go with 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.81 steals (seventh) in 33.4 minutes over 79 games, earning All-NBA Second Team honors. The two-time MVP led the league in three-point field goals for a fifth consecutive year, following his NBA-record 402 threes in 2015-16 with 316 triples in 2016-17, including an NBA single-game record 13 threes on Nov. 7 vs. New Orleans. Curry upped his averages to 28.1 points, 6.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds in 35.4 minutes over 17 games in the 2017 postseason, helping Golden State capture its second title in three seasons. In eight career seasons with the Warriors, Curry owns averages of 22.8 points, 6.8 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.79 steals and is the franchise’s all-time leader in three-point field goals (1,917, 10th in NBA history).
4 years ago via ESPN

By all accounts from league sources, Livingston accepted a significant discount to remain in the Bay Area. But his fellow standout reserve Iguodala isn’t ready to take such an approach. How far ownership is willing to venture over the tax is unknown, but there is apparently a line drawn because the 33-year-old Iguodala is visiting with several teams, including San Antonio, Sacramento and Houston. A source told ESPN that Iguodala doesn’t have plans to meet with the Warriors at this juncture.

Myers mostly sidestepped talking about free agency, beyond acknowledging it’s “pretty intense” given the small window of time between the Finals (which ended June 12), the draft (June 22) and Friday. Green offered his confidence in the front office, but also insisted he will not try to persuade players to stay. “I’m not going to say, ‘Hey, Andre, someone is offering you more money; don’t take that money, stay here,’” Green said. “He’s a grown man and he’s going to make the decision he wants to make. He obviously knows how bad we want him here, and how much we love playing with him.”

Many teams are expected to pursue discussions with Iguodala, including the Warriors, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks, league sources said. Among teams around the league, there’s a belief that the value this summer for a two-way wing such as Iguodala could reach $20 million annually. Iguodala had 20 points, four rebounds and three assists in the Warriors’ Game 5 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Finals.

Midway through the second quarter of Thursday night’s rout of Orlando, Draymond Green saw a wide-open Iguodala streaming toward the rim. Green picked up his dribble midcourt and found Iguodala for a spectacular alley-oop. It was the type of acrobatic dunk that raised an important question: How many more years does Iguodala have left before he focuses exclusively on his off-the-court endeavors? “Ten,” said Iguodala, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’ll just lie like that to get leverage” in contract negotiations.

But Durant could nix that issue by taking a starting salary of $31.8 million — a 20 percent increase from this season, but about $4 million less than his projected max. That would allow the Warriors to sign him under his non-Bird rights, freeing them to go over the cap to retain Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala. At Saturday’s All-Star availability in New Orleans, Durant was asked if that’s something he would consider. “We’ll figure that out when the time comes,” Durant said.

“I don’t feel the need to go tell Shaun and Andre: ‘Yo, go take less money, money isn’t everything,’” Green said during his media scrum Friday at All-Star weekend. “I don’t feel the need to say that, nor will I say that. You can’t tell a guy what money he should make or what’s important to him or his pocket. I don’t count anyone else’s pocket. “Will we recruit them and want them back? Hell yeah. We’ll do everything we can to get them back. But I’m not going to tell them, ‘Hey, man, you should stay here for a little less money.’”

Because Durant would need to be signed with cap space, the large cap holds of both Shaun Livingston ($10.9 million) and Andre Iguodala ($16.7 million) would need to be renounced. Curry’s $18 million free-agent cap hold will now be replaced with a likely $36 million salary. The remainder of the roster would be filled using the room mid-level exception and minimum players, meaning the total committed salaries for next season will likely be $135 million. Golden State will likely be in the luxury tax with a $21.5 million penalty. A. Under contract Kevin Durant $36,050,000. Stephen Curry $36,050,000. Klay Thompson $17,826,150. Draymond Green $16,400,000.
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