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.

Brandon Roy’s Career comes to Sad End with Timberwolves

NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at Minnesota TimberwolvesThree years ago, Brandon Roy was an NBA-Star averaging 21.5 PPG, 4.7 APG and 4.4 RPG. Now, at the age of just 28, it appears as if his career has officially ended.

Roy was waived by the Minnesota Timberwolves over the weekend. He started the first five games of the season and averaged 5.8 PPG while shooting 31.4% from the field. His performance was definitely affected by a preseason collision, and his chronic knee problems quickly resurfaced after this. Roy then underwent arthroscopic surgery in an attempt at getting back on the court. Unfortunately, it didn’t pan out and he never suited up for Minnesota again.

Now this isn’t the first time that Roy retired since he did so before last year. He suffered from terrible bone-on-bone pain in his knees and had to end his Portland Trailblazers career after the 2010-2011 season.

Portland Trail Blazers v Golden State WarriorsBut after a full year of rest and an advanced surgery procedure, Roy was healthy enough to come out of retirement. A healed Brandon Roy was definitely an attractive prospect so the T-Wolves signed him to a two-year, $10 million deal. The hope was to create an exceptional backcourt with point guard Ricky Rubio dishing out assists to Roy.

Training camp was going pretty well, and it looked like Minnesota might have one of the top backcourts in the Western Conference. However, the aforementioned preseason collision was the beginning of his downfall. And following the knee surgery after the first five regular season contests, Roy kept trying to return. But the pain kept returning as well and he never played another game.

brandon-roy-portland-1Seeing as how Roy was hardly able to play and had little prospect of ever returning to his three-time All-Star form, it was an easy cut for Minnesota. This is especially the case when you consider that the second year of Roy’s contract wasn’t guaranteed.

As sad as it is to see Roy’s career come to an end this way, it will definitely help Minnesota out in the offseason. They clear $5.3 million of cap space and now have a better opportunity at picking up sought-after shooting guards this summer. Kevin Martin and O.J. Mayo are definitely a couple of players the Timberwolves will consider.

But the real story here is how Roy’s playing days are most likely finished. In six seasons, he averaged 18.8 PPG, 4.7 APG, 4.4 RPG and 1.0 SPG. He also shot 34.8% from the three-point line and 80.0% from the free throw line.

Roy won the 2007 Rookie of the Year award, made the 2009 All-NBA Second Team, and the 2010 All-NBA Third Team. As mentioned before, he also made the All-Star team three straight years from 2008-2010. If not for injuries, we can only imagine how many more All-Star appearances and accolades he would’ve racked up.