As the NBA's offseason player shuffles grind on, we got word Friday morning that Andre Iguodala plans to sign a one-year, minimum contract with the Golden State Warriors, returning after two seasons with the Miami Heat.
Iguodala, 37, was an integral part of the Warriors squad that went to the NBA Finals five consecutive years and won three championships, in 2015, 2017, and 2018. And in 2015 he was named Finals MVP. Last year, he helped take the Heat to the Finals as well.
And now, as he stands among some of the last NBA players still playing from his cohort — as the New York Times notes, the high school graduating class of 2002, which includes Carmelo Anthony and JJ Redick — Iguodala says he's glad to be finishing his career with the Warriors.
"Who would have thought I’d have the opportunity to go back to the place where I was able to have, whatever you want to call it, legacy years, in terms of the accomplishments, winning multiple championships, the relationships that I was able to build with some of my closest friends and teammates?" Iguodala told the Times. “The relationship with the fans, the relationship with the Bay, the opportunity to end it here, was just something special."
Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in the summer of 2019, not long after Kevin Durant announced his departure to Brooklyn, and after the Warriors' season ended in injuries and disappointment. He was then traded last-minute to the Heat, and as the East Bay Times writes, "In the bubble playoff run, he looked like the sixth man that thrived during the height of the Warriors’ dynasty and played a key role to Miami making the 2020 Finals."
Still, Miami declined its option for Iguodala’s $15 million contract for the 2021-22 season, and the Warriors decided to pluck him out of free agency — reuniting him with Draymond Green, Steph Curry (who just signed his own four-year extension with the Warriors), and Klay Thompson, who'll return this season after being sidelined by an Achilles tear all of last season.
Iguodala tells the Times that he's equally happy to be reunited with the team's director of operations, Eric Housen, and he adds that it's important to "have real relationships beyond basketball, so you know people don’t have ulterior motives and it’s just genuine and organic."
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