The Philadelphia 76ers are one of seven NBA teams interested in signing Golden State Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala, if he were to hit the open market.
From ESPN’s Chris Haynes:
The Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz are among the teams that are interested in the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, sources tell ESPN.
Philadelphia, a place Iguodala spent his first eight seasons in the league, is in the midst of a rousing youth movement centered on development, fresh culture and identity along with a new organizational objective: winning. They covet veteran leadership and someone who is still productive on the court, explaining why team is captivated on a potential reunion with Iguodala, sources say.
The 33-year-old Iguodala, whom the Sixers drafted with the No. 9 overall pick in 2004, averaged 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 76 games with the Warriors last season. He came in second in voting for the Kia NBA Sixth Man of the Year award behind the Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon.
An Iguodala reunion to Philadelphia makes sense on the surface. The team still needs a small forward to back up Robert Covington, and as Haynes mentioned, he can provide a veteran presence while still being valuable on the court.
Iguodala was rumored to be close to re-signing with the Warriors back on June 16, but a report from The Vertical’s Shams Charania three days later indicated that he would be willing to test the free agent waters in July. Charania also said Iguodala’s value around the league could be tabbed in the $20 million a year range. Even with Kevin Durant slated to take a bit of a pay cut in order to help keep the team’s core together once he signs a new contract, the Warriors are still going to be strapped for cash.
However, the Warriors do own Iguodala’s Bird rights, meaning they have the ability to exceed the salary cap in order to retain him.
What seems to be ensuing here is a game of cat and mouse between the Warriors and Iguodala’s representatives. Iguodala clearly doesn’t want to leave the Warriors, who will once again be favored to win another title in 2017-18, but wants to be fairly compensated. He’s coming off a four-year deal that paid him just $12 million on average, and given both his value to Golden State and the current state of NBA contracts, he’s clearly looking for a pay raise.
What better way to get a salary bump then to float interest from a team with the most cap space in the NBA (that would be the Sixers).
It would certainly be a shock if the former Finals MVP left Golden State. Players entering the twilight of their career are usually chasing rings, not money. Iguodala’s likely squeezing the Warriors for every dollar possible, and using the Sixers as bait to do it.