While Dwight Howard is busy contemplating what team to join once the 2013-14 season starts, the Golden State Warriors figured they would make him think long and hard about playing in the Bay by acquiring Andre Iguodala.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Warriors have reached an agreement with Iguodala on a four-year $48 million deal.
In order to make the move work, Bob Myers traded away Richard Jefferson and Andris Biedrins [Editor’s note: Brandon Rush is also part of the deal] to the Utah Jazz and included multiple draft picks in the deal to facilitate the salary dump.
Iguodala is a talented and versatile perimeter player capable of occupying multiple positions. The Dubs saw his skill set first hand in the 2013 playoffs where he averaged 18 points, 8 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game as a member of the Denver Nuggets against Golden State.
In addition, the former Philadelphia 76er is a destructive perimeter defender. Iguodala not only enhances the Warriors’ perimeter play but he makes it incredibly potent.
This transaction is obviously a big one for Golden State and it accomplishes two things: the Warriors acquire another playmaker and scorer and more importantly become a more interesting landing spot for Howard.
Prior to the deal being consummated, Sam Amick of USA Today stated that bringing Iguodala on board might affect the three-time Defensive Player of the Year’s free agency decision:
The notion of clearing space to sign Howard outright isn’t the only plan in play, as free agent small forward Andre Iguodala has serious interest in joining the Warriors even without Howard. He has been seen as a possible cherry on top of their recruiting efforts to get the big man. It’s their version of the Rockets’ plan that is also in play, with free agent forward Josh Smith considered the third star in the sort of scenario that both teams hope could win his affection.
The 2013 free agency process has been increasingly fluid for the Warriors and it’s interesting to see whether the franchise can nail an incredibly difficult sequence of events and get two stud players to join the franchise.
Jerry West was successful in pulling off such a maneuver in the summer of 1996 when he signed away Shaquille O’Neal from the Orlando Magic and then obtained the draft rights to Kobe Bryant.
This isn’t to suggest that West is pulling the strings for the Warriors, but perhaps he has a hand in them. There will be more analysis on the move as the day unfolds, but it’s clear Golden State is putting the franchise in optimal position to bring in the biggest prize in free agency.
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