Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala Nearly Signed With Rockets In Free Agency

An eventful series of free agent meetings in July had Andre Iguodala on the verge of signing with the Rockets before the Warriors swooped in and met his demands at the last minute, Chris Haynes writes in a fascinating piece for ESPN.com.

Back on July 1, we heard that Iguodala was expected to circle back to Golden State after getting an offer he liked from Houston, but Haynes goes into far more detail in describing the process that got Iguodala to that point. Here are a few highlights from the ESPN report:

  • As free agency opened, the Warriors increased their initial offer for Iguodala to $42MM over three years, with a partial guarantee in year three, according to Haynes. However, the swingman wasn’t satisfied with Golden State’s pitch and opted to take meetings with several suitors rather than accepting the Dubs’ offer.
  • The Lakers were the first team to speak with Iguodala, but as was the case throughout free agency, L.A. only offered one year, aiming to preserve 2018 cap room. The Lakers’ one-year offer was worth $20MM, per Haynes.
  • Iguodala met with the Spurs next, and San Antonio offered a fully guaranteed four-year deal. The Spurs only had their mid-level exception to offer, meaning they couldn’t offer more than about $36MM, but Iguodala – who likes being involved in the tech world – was intrigued by the team’s proximity to Austin.
  • The Kings met with Iguodala next and, armed with about $43MM in cap room, essentially asked him to name his price — within reason. If Iguodala named a price that Sacramento was willing to match, the Kings wanted a commitment on the spot, according to Haynes. Not wanting to commit right away, the 33-year-old held off on specifics, but recognized that Sacramento likely had the means to offer him the most money.
  • The Rockets were the next team to make a pitch to Iguodala, and one source within his camp called it “the best recruiting presentation of all time,” per Haynes. Houston was limited to its mid-level exception, but president of basketball operations Daryl Morey began proposing “lucrative sign-and-trade scenarios like a mad scientist” in an effort to meet Iguodala’s demands. Following the meeting with the Rockets, Iguodala cancelled his remaining meetings, including sit-downs with the Sixers, Clippers, Timberwolves, and Jazz, and there was “a strong sentiment that he was Houston-bound.”
  • Iguodala decided to meet one last time with the Warriors, though he expected to use the meeting as an opportunity to say goodbye, sources tell Haynes. Golden State offered a fully guaranteed three-year, $45MM deal, but Iguodala wasn’t budging from his asking price of $16MM per year, and intended to sign with the Rockets if Golden State didn’t meet that demand.
  • Shortly after Iguodala’s meeting with the Warriors ended, GM Bob Myers went to team owner Joe Lacob to ask for a little more money, and received approval to offer $48MM over three years, which was enough to bring Iguodala back into the fold.

Warriors Re-Sign Andre Iguodala

July 12, 4:07pm: The signing is official, according to NBA.com.

July 1, 10:56pm: Andre Iguodala has decided to return to the Warriors on a three-year, $48MM deal, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical. Iguodala himself confirmed the agreement (on Twitter) around the same time Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported that a deal was in place (Twitter link). The contract is fully guaranteed with no options on either side, per Charania (Twitter link).Andre Iguodala vertical

Iguodala committed to Golden State after meeting with GM Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr tonight in Los Angeles, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Iguodala also received multi-year offers from the Rockets, Spurs and Kings, putting pressure on the Warriors to increase their own offer, which was believed to originally be in the range of $12-14MM per year, with a partial guarantee in year three (Twitter link via Sam Amick of USA Today).

[RELATED: 2017 NBA Free Agent Tracker]

With new deals in place for Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, along with a super-max extension for Stephen Curry and a huge contract coming for Kevin Durant, Myers has ensured that the core of the Warriors’ championship team will remain together. However, it certainly won’t be cheap.

Once the Warriors come to terms with Durant on a new deal that will give him a 20% raise using his Non-Bird rights, they will have an estimated $130MM in guaranteed money on their books, as Bobby Marks of ESPN details. Even if Golden State fills out the rest of its roster with minimum salary players, team salary would exceed $137MM, putting the club way over the $119MM luxury tax line and creating a tax bill in the neighborhood of $40MM.

By exceeding the tax apron, the Warriors will lose their full mid-level exception and the bi-annual exception, but will have access to the taxpayer MLE worth $5.192MM. Of course, given how many commitments the Dubs already have on their books, any player(s) signed using that exception would be exponentially more expensive due to tax penalties.

The Warriors’ future cap situation will also get a lot more interesting due to Iguodala’s new deal, which includes a guaranteed third year. That means Iggy’s contract will run through the 2019/20 season, which is the same year Klay Thompson‘s new deal will begin. If Golden State intends to retain Thompson, the team’s bill on salaries and taxes that year will be massive.

While Warriors ownership will have to worry about those future tax penalties, fans in the Bay Area can rest assured that all the key pieces of last year’s championship team, including veteran big man David West, will be back.

Outside of former MVPs Curry and Durant, Iguodala was viewed as the Warriors’ most crucial free agent. The 33-year-old finished second in Sixth Man of the Year voting this year, and while his scoring numbers were very modest, he played a huge role for Golden State as a three-and-D wing. Iguodala ranked 11th on our list of this year’s top 50 free agents.

With Iguodala off the board, it will be interesting to see where teams like the Rockets turn. Houston was reportedly having serious talks with the Cavs about Iman Shumpert, so he may be the Rockets’ Plan B.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Kevin Durant Re-Signs With Warriors

JULY 6: Durant has officially re-signed with the Warriors, per RealGM’s transactions log.

JULY 3: Kevin Durant has agreed to a two-year, $53MM contact with the Warriors, Chris Haynes of ESPN.com tweets. The second year will be a player option, Haynes adds in another tweet. Durant’s salary for next season will be $25MM, Sam Amick of USA Today tweets.Kevin Durant vertical

Durant’s willingness to take far less than a 20% raise aided the Warriors’ efforts to retain their free agents, Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Durant, who opted out of his contract with the full intention of re-signing with Golden State, was eligible to receive a maximum starting salary of $34.65MM. Durant, who made $26.54MM last season, decided to take significantly less than the expected 20% raise that would have secured him a $31.8MM salary for next season.

That is a major reason why the Warriors successfully negotiated new contracts with free agents Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. Iguodala, who was sought after by numerous clubs, agreed to a three-year, $48MM deal while Livingston agreed to stay put for three years and $24MM. In essence, as Thompson points out, Durant is gifting part of his salary for next season to his teammates.

Durant’s discount will also help ownership save some money on its luxury tax bill, depending upon how far over the tax line the franchise goes. Durant’s first-year salary will save the franchise approximately $20MM, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks, who projects Golden State will now pay $32.4MM instead of $52.4MM in luxury taxes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Porzingis, Ndour, Iguodala

The Knicks have changed their tone with regard to Kristaps Porzingis now that former president Phil Jackson is out of the picture. These days, head coach Jeff Hornacek is confident that the third-year forward will remain in New York, Ian Begley of ESPN writes.

I think it was out there that Phil was listening, but he wasn’t out shopping KP,” The Knicks bench boss clarifies. “We love KP and what he does, so I don’t see him going anywhere.”

We wrote yesterday about how the Knicks will look to prioritize the 21-year-old more in their offense, something that Jackson had been reluctant to do. They’ve also actually been in touch with the 7’3″ sharpshooter as well, a sign that tension between the two parties following Porzingis’ missed exit meeting is simmering now that his biggest critic is no longer involved.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Recently waived Maurice Ndour may be a victim of bad timing, Marc Berman of the New York Post suggests. The forward was a favorite of Phil Jackson‘s and was cut shortly after the organization and former president parted ways. The Knicks let Ndour go to free up cap space.
  • The Sixers have ample cap space and no reservations using it, something that Warriors forward Andre Iguodala may have used to his advantage in his own free agent negotiations. Rob Tornoe of the Inquirer suggests that on some occasion, agents leak meetings with Philly to drive up prices.
  • The time is now for Brett Brown to show what he’s capable of as a head coach, Bob Cooney of the Inquirer writes. Brown has done an impressive job of harnessing effort out of his limited roster in the past, now he has legitimate weapons at his disposal.

Western FA Rumors: Gay, Wolves, Rondo, Kings

Thunder big man Enes Kanter created a stir on Twitter earlier tonight when he published a photo that showed neighboring lockers featuring Russell Westbrook‘s and Rudy Gay‘s nameplates. While Gay was in Oklahoma City meeting with the Thunder today, Kanter’s tweet doesn’t mean the two sides have an agreement in place, according to Royce Young of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Young says that league sources were confident as of Friday night that OKC was in a strong position with Gay, adding that the Thunder made a “strong impression” during Saturday’s meeting (Twitter link).

With no deal in place yet, Gay continues to draw interest from other teams. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that the Timberwolves remain on the lookout for a free agent who can play power forward and shoot, and gave Gay a call today. Wolfson classifies the contact as “just a check-in call,” however.

Here are more free agent rumors from around the Western Conference:

  • Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link) has heard that Rajon Rondo would have interest in joining the Clippers. As Kennedy notes, Rondo has friends on the team and has a history with Doc Rivers from their Boston days.
  • In a separate tweet, Alex Kennedy passes along an update on free agent big man Thomas Robinson, reporting that the Timberwolves have expressed some interest in the former lottery pick.
  • The Kings are “very interested” in signing Zach Randolph, league sources tell Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento saw a pair of its free agent targets land elsewhere late on Saturday night, as Andre Iguodala committed to the Warriors and P.J. Tucker agreed to sign in Houston. The Kings had offered Iguodala a two-year deal in the range of $16MM annually, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today.
  • With other restricted free agents set to receive larger offers, Suns center Alex Len may be a more attainable target for teams, and is discussing scenarios with a few potential suitors, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical.

Warriors Will Meet With Andre Iguodala, Offer Three-Year Contract

10:12pm: The Rockets, Spurs and Kings have also made multi-year offers to Iguodala, according to Haynes (Twitter link).

9:49pm: Iguodala received a three-year, $45MM offer from Golden State that he is now considering, tweets Chris Haynes of ESPN.com. There are no options in the deal.

4:03pm: The Warriors are set to sit down with Andre Iguodala in Los Angeles after he canceled his remaining free agent meetings with other suitors, reports Marcus Thompson II of The Bay Area News Group. According to Thompson, Golden State intends to offer a three-year contract in the range of $13-15MM annually.

As we noted earlier today, after meeting with the Spurs, Kings, and Rockets, Iguodala canceled the rest of his meetings, suggesting he might be nearing a decision. The Rockets reportedly made an offer to the veteran swingman during their meeting earlier today, but the Warriors have long been considered the frontrunners and it appears they’ll put a very respectable offer on the table.

If Iguodala ends up re-signing with the Warriors, Golden State will end up making major commitments to Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston, and Iguodala, their top four free agents of the summer. That would take the team well into tax territory for the 2017/18 season.

It’s also worth noting that a third year for Iguodala would represent a major concession for the Warriors, assuming it’s guaranteed. The team reportedly preferred to limit most of its deals this offseason to two years, since a new contract for Klay Thompson would go into effect for the 2019/20 season.

It does appear that third year is partially or fully guaranteed. Sam Amick of USA Today tweets that Golden State’s original offer was in the $12-14MM range, with a partial guarantee in year three.

Andre Iguodala Cancels Remaining FA Meetings

3:08pm: The Sixers had been scheduled to meet with Iguodala later today, but it will be scrapped along with the rest on his list, tweets ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

2:58pm: The Warriors aren’t sure what it means that Iguodala canceled his remaining meetings, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who reports (via Twitter) that there’s a sense in Golden State that the veteran free agent may circle back to them with his offer from the Rockets.

2:48pm: Andre Iguodala has canceled his remaining free agent meetings, league sources tell Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link). While Charania’s report doesn’t provide any additional details, it sounds as if the veteran swingman may be nearing a decision.

Iguodala was reportedly planning to meet the Spurs, Kings, Rockets, and possibly the Lakers and other teams in free agency. The sit-downs with San Antonio, Sacramento and Houston took place, but it appears those were the only teams Iguodala met.

Reports leading up to free agency, and since the free agent period began, have suggested that many people around the NBA still expect Iguodala and the Warriors to work out a new deal to keep the standout sixth man in Golden State. The two sides didn’t have a formal meeting today, but that won’t preclude a potential agreement, since they know where they stand.

It’s worth noting that this news comes shortly after Iguodala’s meeting with the Rockets, and Houston reportedly made him a contract offer. As I noted earlier, the Rockets’ current cap situation isn’t conducive to a competitive offer for Iguodala. However, if the team has a plan to dump Ryan Anderson‘s salary, it’s possible Daryl Morey could use a chunk of cap room for an offer to Iguodala or someone else, rather than being limited to the mid-level as an over-the-cap team.

Rockets Make Contract Offer To Andre Iguodala

The Rockets’ meeting with Andre Iguodala ended earlier this afternoon, and a source characterized the sit-down as “excellent,” says Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. According to Spears, Houston made a contract offer to Iguodala.

The runner-up in 2017’s Sixth Man of the Year voting, Iguodala is still considered a good bet to remain in Golden State and sign a new deal with the Warriors. However, he appears to be considering all his options. He has reportedly met – or will meet – with the Kings, Rockets, and Spurs, and has also received interest from the Lakers, among other clubs.

The Warriors hold Iguodala’s Bird rights and could go all the way up to the max to sign him if need be, though the team presumably has an informal limit on what it’s willing to offer the veteran swingman. With Stephen Curry having agreed to a huge new extension, Kevin Durant expected to get something close to the max, and Shaun Livingston getting his own multiyear deal, Golden State would be headed well beyond the tax line with a pricey commitment to Iguodala.

Still, even if the Warriors have cap concerns, it’s not clear if a Rockets’ offer will force their hand. Houston is over the cap and appears to be committing part of its $8.4MM mid-level exception to draft-and-stash prospect Zhou Qi. In order to make a truly competitive offer for Iguodala, the Rockets would likely need to figure out a sign-and-trade scenario, which would require Golden State’s cooperation.

There are always a lot of moving parts during the July moratorium, so Daryl Morey could have something up his sleeve, but landing Iguodala seems like a long shot for Houston.

Free Agent Rumors: Iguodala, Noel, Roberson, Ingles

The Heat are one of three teams scheduled to meet with free agent Gordon Hayward, which could put several free agency plans on hold. For Miami free agent James Johnson, being patient is not a problem, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes.

“I’m a patient guy,” Johnson said to Jackson at a recent golf tournament. “They can take as long as they want. My mindset is winning. I think Hayward can help us win and I’m all for it. They brought me here for a reason and I know they’re going after Hayward for a reason and I think his statistics and his numbers that he [produces], he fits in the best here.”

Johnson, 30, developed into a solid two-way player last season, averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and shot nearly 48% from the floor. However, if Miami does lure Hayward to South Beach, retaining both Johnson and Dion Waiters would be problematic from a financial standpoint. Stretching Josh McRoberts‘ salary and several other moves would have to be made to re-sign both players. However, Johnson has reiterated he does not mind waiting to see how the Heat’s plan develop.

Here are some other free agency rumors circulating around the NBA:

  • The Rockets‘ meeting with two-time NBA champion and free agent Andre Iguodala is scheduled for this morning, according to Chris Haynes of ESPN (via Twitter).
  • In a separate tweet, Haynes reports that the Knicks and Bucks have inquired on free agent swingman Ben McLemore.
  • Restricted free agent Nerlens Noel can speak to other teams, but appears very likely to remain in Dallas. It’s likely a matter of “how much and when” the Mavericks get a deal done with the swingman, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (via Twitter).
  • With Paul George headed to Oklahoma City, the Thunder are more likely to retain restricted free agent Andre Roberson, according to ESPN’s Royce Young (via Twitter).
  • The Nets have secured a meeting with free agent Joe Ingles, sources tell Adam Joseph of 16WingsARing (via Twitter).
  • We heard on Friday night that the Cavaliers have interest in Zach Randolph. That interest is mutual, writes Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Free Agent Rumors: Porter, Randolph, Millsap, Holiday

The Wizards‘ session with Otto Porter ended without an agreement, tweets David Aldridge of TNT. Porter plans to start meeting with other teams this weekend (Twitter link). That creates a potential opening for the Nets, who appear willing to offer the max of four years and $100MM, according to a post on NetsDaily. Philadelphia may also get involved, but the Sixers seem reluctant to make long-term offers. Washington has promised to match any offer for the restricted free agent.

There’s more late-night free agency news:

  • Aldridge has two more tidbits to pass along. The Cavaliers are interested in Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph and plan to call him today (Twitter link). Also, Blake Griffin‘s decision to re-sign with the Clippers means the Suns will intensify their pursuit of  Hawks forward Paul Millsap (Twitter link).
  • Jrue Holiday met with the Pelicans tonight, but no deal was reached, tweets Sam Amick of USA Today. The two sides are expected to get together again in the morning.
  • The new $201MM supermax contract that the Warriors gave to Stephen Curry doesn’t include a no-trade clause or a player option, according to Anthony Slater of The San Jose Mercury News (Twitter link).
  • Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons has gotten calls from the Kings, Clippers and Timberwolves and is ready to start holding meetings, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • In addition to Simmons, the Clippers plan to meet with Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari on Sunday and Jazz forward Joe Ingles this weekend, relays Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • There’s a strong chance that Celtics‘ power forward Amir Johnson will sign with the Sixers, a source tells Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Johnson has a history with Philadelphia’s president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who traded for him in 2009 as GM of the Raptors.
  • The Kings met tonight with Andre Iguodala and Patrick Patterson, according to Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link).
  • The Timberwolves have put in a call to Ty Lawson as a possible backup for Jeff Teague, tweets Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. The Pelicans, Thunder and Kings have also been in contact with Lawson.
  • The Grizzlies are the latest team to show interest in Kings guard Ben McLemore, relays Chris Mannix of The Vertical (Twitter link).
  • The Knicks contacted Suns power forward Alan Williams tonight, posts Ian Begley on ESPN Now. Williams fits New York’s goal of finding players who can contribute on both ends of the floor, Begley notes.
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