The Golden State Warriors made two enormous moves on Friday afternoon in the already eventful 2013 NBA Free Agency. Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Warriors landed one of the biggest free agents on the market in Andre Iguodala, agreeing to a four-year, $48 million deal with the shooting guard.
The Warriors were able to make the Iguodala deal happen after they agreed with the Utah Jazz to make a trade that unloaded Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush’s expiring contracts that owed the trio a combined $24 million next season, per Warriors beat writer Marcus Thompson. The Warriors also sent draft picks to Utah, including their 2014 first round pick, per Wojnarowski.
Signing Iguodala is huge for the Warriors in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, they add an athletic player that is a great complimentary scorer and is one of the best wing defenders in the game.
Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry isn’t a great defender, but his defense is made to look worse because he plays with another poor defender in Golden State’s backcourt in Klay Thompson. Adding Iguodala to that backcourt rotation will exponentially increase the Warriors’ defensive effectiveness on the perimeter.
The second thing that this signing does for the Warriors is it makes some of their assets expendable so that a sign-and-trade to land Dwight Howard is more feasible. With Iguodala on the roster now, the Warriors could deal Thompson or Harrison Barnes in a deal for Howard and it wouldn’t particularly hinder their team.
After their incredibly entertaining run in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, many people wondered how the Warriors would build on their success and grow. With Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry heading into free agency and the deals of Biedrins and Jefferson crippling Golden State’s cap situation, most people assumed the Warriors wouldn’t be able to take the next step.
With Friday’s deal going down and the possibility of Howard coming to the Bay Area still looming, it’s clear that the Warriors aren’t just taking the next step, but they are making great strides forward. Even if they don’t land Howard, the Warriors are undoubtedly going to be one of the favorites to make it out of the Western Conference to the NBA Finals next season.