What Impact will the Andre Iguodala Trade have on the Warriors?

andre-iguodalaFormer Denver Nuggets small forward Andre Iguodala was already set to sign a 4-year, $48 million deal with the Golden State Warriors through free agency. However, he went to his new club via a three-team trade instead. This deal, which also involves the Utah Jazz and Nuggets, allows all three teams more roster and salary cap flexibility. Here’s a look at what all three parties got in the deal:

Golden State Warriors – Receive Andre Iguodala from Denver and guard Kevin Murphy from Golden State.

Denver Nuggets – Get guard Randy Foye from the Jazz along with a $9 million trade exception (for Iguodala) which they can use any time next year.

Utah Jazz – Receive Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush, and their $24 million in expiring contracts from the Warriors. Utah also gets Golden State’s 2014 and 2017 first round picks as well as 2016 and 2017 second round picks. Additionally, Denver sent the Jazz a 2018 second round pick.

Moving past the salary cap implications and trade exceptions of this deal, Iguodala is definitely the big news here. In his lone season with Denver, the 6’6″ guard/forward helped his team return to relevancy as they went 57-25 during the regular season – a 19-game improvement from the previous year.

The Nuggets rode into the playoffs on a high note, having grabbed the third seed in the Western Conference. However, they were bounced out of the first round by the sixth seed, Golden State. This certainly wasn’t Igoudala’s fault as he averaged 18.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 5.3 APG and shot 48.3% from the three-point line.

andre-iguodala-1During the regular season, he put up numbers of 13.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 5.4 APG and 1.7 SPG. Statistically, Iguodala has had better seasons during his career. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story here because the Arizona product’s impact on the Nuggets was huge.

Aside from helping Denver boost their win total, Iguodala was a true lockdown defender with the ability to shut down point guards, shooting guards and small forwards. Some even argue that Iguodala is the best wing defender in the league – LeBron James included.

The 29-year-old is also one of the NBA’s best passers from the wing, as evidenced by the 5.4 APG he averaged for Denver last year. With his excellent ballhandling skills, it was basically like the Nuggets had two point guards on the floor in Iguodala and Ty Lawson.

Now he’s bringing these same attributes to a young Golden State team that’s already on their way up. Iguodala should fit in very nicely with star point guard Stephen Curry, shooting guard Klay Thompson, power forward David Lee, wingman Harrison Barnes and center Andrew Bogut. Assuming Bogut and Lee can stay healthy in 2014, the Warriors have a truly complete starting five, with Barnes and Carl Landry providing some nice minutes off the bench.

andre-iguodala-2Curry and Iguodala’s chemistry should be excellent right away. The two became great friends during Team USA’s run to the 2010 FIBA title. And Curry was a huge reason why Andre turned down an extra $4 million from Sacramento to play for Golden State.

A couple of notable spots where Iguodala figures to have an immediate impact include passing and stealing the ball. Aside from Curry (6.9 APG) and the departed Jarrett Jack (5.6 APG), the Warriors had no true passing threats. Now they add a non-point guard who can dish out assists just as good as Jack did.

So where will the addition of Iguodala put Golden State in the Western Conference race next season? It’s hard to say because the West is so muddled, but our guess is that you can expect the Warriors to at least grab one of the top four playoff seeds – maybe even better. Of course, with the Thunder, Spurs, Clippers and Grizzlies all coming back with strong squads, this won’t be easy.

Golden State Warriors complete Impressive Turnaround

stephen-curryLast week saw the Golden State Warriors eliminated from the NBA playoffs after losing to the Spurs in six games. And while the Warriors wanted desperately to beat San Antonio and advance to the Western Conference Finals, they can’t be too sad about the way things turned out.

This is especially true when you consider that Golden State’s young team went from a non-competitive 23-43 record in the lockout-shortened season to a 47-35 record in 2013. Thanks to a strong regular season effort, the Warriors had the opportunity to dismantle a heavily-favored Denver Nuggets team in the first round. They also gave the Spurs a run for their money, before succumbing to a rash of injuries and makeshift lineups.

So where does this put Golden State now? Well, according to general manager Bob Myers, the Warriors organization no longer has to chase pipe dreams and take incredible offseason risks just to be competitive. He said the following regarding the turnaround:

I think that sense of desperation has passed. I think that whereas when you’re trying to do anything to get over the hump you do sometimes chase things that may be difficult to acquire. Whereas now, doesn’t mean we’re satisfied, it doesn’t mean we think our work is through, but we can be prudent and patient with opportunities as they come along.

What’s the best word to describe a 180? People do enjoy watching this group of players play. They do enjoy watching our games on TV and seeing what the crowd brings. They do enjoy watching our coaches get the most out of the players we have. What does that say? Well, if you’re a player in the NBA and you’re witnessing all these things, it does make it a desirable place to go and be a part of.

Golden State Warriors v Minnesota TimberwolvesIf Myers sounds really confident, it’s because the talent that he’s assembled in Golden State gives him reason to be. First off, there is sharpshooter Stephen Curry, who averaged 22.9 PPG, 6.9 APG, 4.0 RPG and shot 45.3% from 3-point territory. Now he may not have had the best playoff series against San Antonio, but Curry will no doubt be better prepared next time around.

Then there is David Lee, who had one of his best seasons yet after averaging 18.5 PPG and 11.2 RPG during the regular season. They key for Lee will be getting healthy since he played sparingly in the San Antonio series and will soon undergo surgery to repair his torn right hip flexor.

Klay Thompson is yet another integral part of this ballculb. He combined with Curry to make Golden State a very dangerous team with his 40.1% shooting from 3-point land and 16.6 PPG.

From here, the Warriors have a roster full of strong role players and talented youngsters. Jarrett Jack (12.9PPG, 5.6APG) and Carl Landry (10.8PPG, 6.0RPG) provided big contributions last year and could do the same in 2014, if they’re re-signed.

klay-thompsonStarters Harrison Barnes (9.2PPG) and Andrew Bogut (7.7RPG, 1.72 BPG) will be back again next season. Golden State will be hoping to see Bogut on the floor more next year since he was injured throughout most of 2013. Rookie reserves Rookie reserves Draymond Green, Festus Ezeli and Kent Bazemore should also play prominent roles on next year’s team too.

Based on everybody that will be coming back in 2014, it’s easy to see why head coach Mark Jackson doesn’t want the roster to change much. “I don’t want to overreact because we had a great year. I want to build on it,” he said. ”This is a great offseason to challenge every one of them to come back better. And I’m excited about it. I have no problem coming back with the same group, but this is truly a business.”

The players are definitely in place for the Warriors next season. But the main thing will be ensuring that everybody is healthy when the postseason comes around. Curry (ankle), Lee (hip flexor) and Bogut (knee) all had their ailments last year. However, this core group needs to stay on the court in order for Golden State to make another great run in 2014.