Andre Iguodala is signing with the Golden State Warriors, according to Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times on Friday. Iguodala told Abrams he plans to end his career with the team he played with from 2013-2019 and won three championships with as part of Golden State’s dynasty.
“The relationship with the fans, the relationship with the Bay, the opportunity to end it here, was just something special,” Iguodala said to Abrams.
Iguodala was only dealt to the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2019 offseason to facilitate a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell. He was traded again to the Miami Heat without playing a single game in Memphis. He has been in Miami ever since, but after the Heat declined his team option to pursue other upgrades, the path was cleared for Iguodala to return to the team that he spent his prime with.
Iguodala will presumably return to his role as a prominent reserve in Golden State, and their bench will welcome his presence. The Warriors outscored opponents by 4.6 points per 100 possessions when Stephen Curry was in the game, but were outscored by 5.6 points per 100 possessions when he sat out. The Warriors need all of the veteran talent they can get if they are going to work their way back in the championship picture this season.
Iguodala should also serve as an effective mentor to a number of young players on Golden State’s roster. Andrew Wiggins effectively replaced Iguodala as Golden State’s wing stopper last season after the Warriors acquired him in a deal for Russell, and now, with Iguodala back in tow, Wiggins should be positioned for another strong season. The Warriors spent the No. 7 overall pick on Jonathan Kuminga and the No. 14 overall pick on Moses Moody, two young and raw wings that will certainly benefit from Iguodala’s experience.
More than anything, the move will hopefully allow Iguodala to retire as a Warrior. Team legends like that should always have that opportunity, but the business of basketball nearly robbed him of it in 2019. Now he has returned to the team that he helped lead to three championships, and if the Warriors have their way, he’ll be their for a fourth as well.