Golden State Warriors: Curbing Your Enthusiasm for Andre Iguodala

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Feb 5, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala (9) drives to the basket during the second half against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Pepsi Center. The Nuggets won 112-104. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Controlled optimism is not a phrase most Golden State Warriors fans are familiar with. We tend to go through massive mood swings on players.

Case in point:  Dwight Howard. In the early stages of the Howard free agency, many fans dismissed the center as immature and a diva, claiming that his negative attributes off the court outweighs his positive impact on the court. When the Warriors emerged as a serious frontrunner to acquire Howard, many fans changed their tune, expounding a Stephen Curry- Andre Iguodala-Howard “Big Three” that would take the West by storm.

Warriors fans waxed poetic about Howard’s dominance as a center and that he was the only thing keeping the team from a championship run. Those who previously said that Howard would not be worth Thompson or Barnes, quickly reneged on their dogma. Once it became clear that Golden State was not going to get Howard, the criticism of Howard returned, though this time purely as sour grapes.

What does any of this have to do with the Iguodala signing? Well, I don’t strive to be overly negative rather I want to control the the team’s optimism and manage their expectations for next season. While I think it is too strong to say that the deal could be a bust, I think there are some factors that put a damper on the mood.

Let’s take a look at five reasons to curb your enthusiasm for acquiring Iguodala.

As a reminder, the Warriors had to send Brandon Rush, Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, a 2014 first-round pick, a 2016 second- round pick and a 2017 first and second round pick to the Utah Jazz and a 2018 second round pick to the Denver Nuggets. In return, they got Iguodala and the Jazz sent us Kevin Murphy.

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Topics: Andre Iguodala, Carl Landry, Golden State Warriors, Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack, Klay Thompson, LeBron James, NBA Free Agency

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  • patchel

    It is hard to tell how age will affect an NBA star. Tim Dunkin just keeps chugging away while the Warriors Jefferson, who still had some hops and could shoot, just showed up to work one day and he was slow.

    • Dhara Taheripour

      Thanks for the read.

      I would argue that Tim Duncan’s game is probably more timeless than Iguodala’s as you likely don’t need to be very young or athletic to hit the turnaround off-the-glass jumper (no disrespect to Tim Duncan who I consider the greatest power forward of all time). The best thing about Iguodala though is that even if aging takes away his scoring potency, he has defensive and offensive IQ in the sense that he has court vision and can bring up the ball and can likely still create defensive stops on the perimeter.

  • a r

    Ok… I’m not trying to bash this article because clearly there was time and effort put into writing it and everyone has a different view point and opinion, (that’s what makes life fun and interesting) but I really disagree with most of the major points.

    So the one point I can agree with is that it is unknown how AI’s age affects him as far as his game is concerned. I also somewhat agree with there being some level of risk in replacing Jack and Landry with Speights, Douglas and O’neal but it could also end up better. And how do we know that the locker room chemistry will be worse or that O’neal a 17 year veteran or Douglas or MS won’t be leaders and vocal contributors to the team? They all want to be there.

    Draft Picks – My biggest issue with the point that they gave up first round draft picks and that it’s bad is that the warriors have already built themselves up with draft picks…they have (or at least had) one of the youngest teams in the league and drafted well for the last few years. Since there’s no way they are going to be high up in the first round for 2014 then giving up that pick is nothing. What? Are the Warriors forever supposed to build their team for the future with young unproven draft picks? I think having proven assets that can be traded to bottom or mid-dwelling teams for a draft pick later in the season is worth more to a team like the warriors than their own pick; especially if said asset(s) are not working with the team chemistry. This leads me into:

    Free Agent Class- Lebron is NEVER coming to the Wariors and Wade and other guys on the list are already aged and heading downhill fast. Just because the horrible waste of money on Andris and RJ was freed up a year early and spent in a wayyyyy more valuable way doesn’t prevent the team from getting free agents next year. Similar to my point above assets that don’t fit the team can be shed in sign and trades which can net free agents (just like this year only we had to package some low down almost worthless draft picks since the assets weren’t really assets)

    Barnes Development – I agree that Klay would be a great 6th man but why does Barnes coming off the bench mean limited minutes and retarded development for him? Jack came off the bench and had plenty of minutes (especially when he was on and playing well) and development outside of what he does inside his own head and body comes down to minutes played in-game. Potentially there could be some psychology at play for the young man involving coming off the bench but that’s where the Preacher coach and his own developing maturity come into play.

    To sum it all up- The Warriors are going to be better and more consistent than last year and I don’t foresee any substantial chemistry issues with their team. The young guys are hungry and focused and talented and are going to keep getting better even with slightly reduced playing time. I absolutely believe they are going to make it into the WCF for 2014 unless something smashes curry’s glass ankles. Also Bazemore (Although I prefer the Gary St. Jean Freudian slip “Blazemore”) is gonna be a factor this year too.

    • Dhara Taheripour

      Thank you for your well thought-out and reasoned response and I appreciate the criticism. I guess as a preface to my response, I completely agree with your last paragraph. I am a huge Dre fan and see him as being a major contributor to the Warriors and I am optimistic for this season.

      In response to your first point and second point, the draft pick and free agent money would have served as more of an insurance policy than anything else. Imagine a season in which Curry does get re-injured and Bogut does not recover fully from his injury. Festus will be out for 6-9 months since the beginning of the summer and Jermaine O’Neal is 34 years old and has had his share of injuries. Nedovic and Kuzmic are already injured and even though Lee logged minutes while injured, we don’t know what are the long-standing consequences to that. So let’s look at the nightmare scenario where Curry, Bogut, Ezeli, Nedovic, Kuzmic and Lee can’t produce major minutes. In that scenario, I would rather have a draft pick than someone like Andre Iguodala because of the strength of this class. You say that we could shed him to a bottom or mid dwelling team, but for a lot of those teams, a young and high-potential prospect like Wiggins, Randle, Parker, Gordon, Smart among many others is more attractive than an aging swingman. The absolute worst part of the Utah trade and likely the necessary evil we had to incur was that those picks were unprotected. If we somehow do bad enough to land in the top 7, we have no way to recoup on that loss.

      In terms of free agents, you say LeBron is never coming to the Warriors but the Iguodala signing and the fact that we were essentially the second or third runner up to the Howard lottery prove that the Warriors are a serious contender to free agents. Even if you don’t get someone like LeBron, there are a lot of other great free agents in that class (http://www.hoopsworld.com/2014-nba-free-agents). Again, I like the deal for Iguodala because I think he was probably the third or fourth biggest free agent of this offseason and I think it’s a great pickup, but the possibility of having a run at the “championship-in-a-box” LeBron James or any of the other marquee agents was tantalizing. Sure the Warriors can enter the race next year and I even addressed that in the article, but the issues becomes the cost. There was no cost in letting Biendrins and Jefferson’s contract expire, other than having to see them miss free throws or be a huge waste of space. To make ourselves able to compete next year, we will have to pay a steeper price than just draft picks and three contracts for people who effectively did not play in 2012-13.

      To the last point in Barnes development, I view this as being largely contingent on Coach Jackson and how he wants to utilize Barnes and Thompson and Iguodala and I agree that coming off the bench does not necessarily mean that he will not develop, but by taking a reduced role in the team, his playtime and ability to further himself will inherently be reduced. We saw what Barnes could do when he was given the opportunity during the playoffs and we saw what happened when he wasn’t given his due minutes during the regular season. I think the one major positive is that both Thompson and Iguodala can play the 2-3 and Barnes can play the 3-4 and that increased versatility mitigates some of my fears for Barnes. In any lineup, Coach Jackson should be able to find a way to insert those players.

      Thanks again for your mature response and I appreciate civilized discourse rather than “this article is dumb.”