This article was originally published on Let’s Go Warriors.
On Thursday, the Golden State Warriors officially acquired small forward and nine-year NBA veteran Andre Iguodala. The 2012 Eastern Conference All-Star has played for the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets, and he has career averages of 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 steals in 37.4 minutes per game.
Iguodala, 29, has also played in 41 career playoff games, averaging 14.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.8 steals during the postseason.
In last season’s playoff series against the Warriors, Iguodala averaged 18.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.0 steals on 50 percent shooting and 48.3 percent shooting from three in 40.5 minutes per game.
Iguodala was offered a four-year, $52 million contract offer with the Sacramento Kings, but the Kings ultimately rescinded the offer. Iguodala wanted to be a Warrior, so he decided to wait and see if the Warriors were going to be able to move their large contracts and sign him.
“Mainly, the coach and the culture, the environment,” Iguodala said about why he wanted to sign with the Warriors. “I feel like they have a good culture there, a lot of great guys, great locker room. The way they’ve got those guys playing with such confidence, that comes from the coach.”
So what will Iguodala bring to the Warriors? Well, he brings a little bit of everything. Iguodala is an extremely versatile player who can play and guard several positions. He can score, he can rebound, he can pass, he’s good in transition, and he’s one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. He’s also extremely athletic, he can come through in the clutch, and he’s a fierce competitor.
Because of Iguodala’s defensive prowess, the Warriors now finally have someone strong enough and quick enough to guard the elite small forwards like Kevin Durant and LeBron James.
Just ask Stephen Curry how good of a defender Iguodala is. Iguodala used his length, size, and quickness to disrupt Curry throughout the Warriors’ playoff series against the Nuggets.
Off the court though, Curry and Iguodala are good friends. They both played on the USA men’s national basketball team that won the gold-medal in the 2010 FIBA World Championship. Curry claims that Iguodala will have a positive impact on the Warriors’ team chemistry.
“From my experience with him, he’s a really low key guy who works hard,” Curry said. “He’s not high-maintenance or anything. Doesn’t have an ego. That’s pretty much the make-up of our locker room. He can be a vocal guy, a guy that can check somebody but be respectful about it. He fits that accountability style we’re going for.”
Iguodala seems like the perfect pairing to this Warriors team. First of all, he’s aggressive on offense and likes to drive to the basket, which will help Klay Thompson and Curry get open on the three-point line.
Second, as Curry alluded to, he will be a great addition to the Warriors’ locker room. His veteran leadership and impressive work ethic will set a great example for the younger players on the Warriors such as Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Kent Bazemore, and Nemanja Nedovic.
Third, Iguodala thrives in an up-tempo system, which he played in while on the Nuggets. His speed and athleticism in transition will certainly be a valuable asset to the Warriors.
The Warriors have added other key pieces to their rotation including Nedovic, Marreese Speights, Toney Douglas, and Jermaine O’Neal. The Warriors will have a deep, well-rounded roster next year, and they could definitely make a deep playoff run. The addition of Iguodala makes this Warriors team a serious contender in the Western Conference.