The negotiations were thornier than expected, but the successful partnership between Andre Iguodala and the Warriors will continue deeper into this decade.
The highly coveted veteran forward agreed to a three-year deal worth around $48 million with the Warriors late Saturday night, ending a dramatic but ultimately successful first day of free agency for both player and franchise.
The agreement was first reported by ESPN and then announced by Iguodala.
“Sources close to Andre Iguodala reporting (I’ve) agreed to terms to return to the bay….,” he tweeted late Saturday night.
Iguodala didn’t like the Warriors initial offer, which didn’t include a third guaranteed year.
At 33, entering his 14th season, he wanted to extend his earning window as long as possible. This is likely the last big contract of his career.
So Iguodala went searching for other offers and leverage on the first day of free agency, meeting with the Spurs, Kings and Rockets, who all came strong, particularly Houston. It forced the Warriors to counter.
Bob Myers and Steve Kerr met with Iguodala on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, armed with a revamped offer that included that crucial third year, a somewhat risky move from the Warriors, who will have to re-up Klay Thompson in the 2019 off season and preferred to keep their books as clean as possible that summer.
But Iguodala’s importance — and the growing threat that he’d leave — proved too much. Ever since he signed back in 2013, Iguodala has proved vital to the Warriors’ cause.
In 2014, he accepted a Sixth Man role that slid everyone into more natural, potent spots.
In 2015, his defense, playmaking and hot shooting in the Finals helped take down LeBron James and the Cavaliers, capture the Warriors their first title in 40 years and earn Iguodala the Finals MVP.
The past two seasons, Iguodala’s role and effectiveness have diminished, particularly this past season with the addition of Kevin Durant.
But when needed most — like this past March, when Durant missed the entire month with an injured knee, or during key moments in the Finals a few weeks back — Iguodala was always there, uncorking a throwback dunk or producing a needed defensive stop.
The Warriors wanted to keep that steady hand off the bench. To do so, they had to pay. On Saturday, they did and Iguodala accepted.
Culled from Santa Cruz Sentinel
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