Much of the conversation surrounding the Golden State Warriors is how Andre Iguodala will affect the team’s starting lineup. The assumption being that Iguodala’s arrival at Oracle would inevitably lead to a demotion for either Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes. However, there is another option that almost no one is talking about: Iguodala as the sixth man.
Before you dismiss the notion entirely consider these three factors: Iggy moved to Oakland to win a title, he could have gone to Sacramento and got paid more but he clearly chose the Warriors because he thought it would provide the best shot at a championship ring.
Secondly, Thompson had a breakout year and Barnes broke out during the playoffs, rewarding them by moving one to the bench might do more harm than good.
Lastly, with the departure of both Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry, the bench will need a major lift. The perfect man for the job would be the veteran Iguodala.
Would he be willing to play that role? Perhaps. He isn’t trying to prove himself, like some of the youngsters are. He has already done that. A second unit of Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, Barnes, Marreese Speights, Jermaine O’Neal, Kent Bazemore and Toney Douglas would consist of four second-year players.
Granted, many of those guys have the potential to be great players in the future, but if it is a championship that the Dubs are after, I think it is clear that someone needs to fill the gaping hole left by Jack and Landry.
While the additions of Speights and O’Neal provide some much-needed role players, they are unlikely to be difference makers on the court. If Mark Jackson and his coaching staff were to present Iguodala with the opportunity to be a James Harden/ Manu Ginobili type of anchor off the bench, would he object?
The fact is, regardless of whether he starts at the two, the three or comes off the bench, Iguodala will inevitably play big minutes and be on the court at the end of close games. The Warriors need leadership when the starters rest, and who fits that role better than the newly acquired Andre Iguodala?