If you can't beat them, break them. This appears to be the mission of opposing teams wanting to stop the rampaging Golden State Warriors on their tracks. The key to weaken the Warriors a bit is to take out one piece of the core - that would be Andre Iguodala.
True, Iguodala is not in the league of superstars like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry but he certainly is important to GSW. When the Warriors won the 2015 NBA Finals, Iguodala was named the Finals MVP. And when he was playing injured in 2016, the Warriors allowed the Cleveland Cavaliers to rally from a 3-1 series lead. The Cavs won in Game 7.
This year, Iguodala is not the Finals MVP but he made his presence felt and the Warriors scored win number two against the Cavs in three showdowns. It might be that the two teams will meet again for the 2018 NBA Finals but Iguodala is unlikely to suit up for GSW.
In a report, ESPN said "Andre Iguodala has become the foremost target in an attempt to weaken the Golden State Warriors' choke hold on the NBA."
"A significant number of personnel within NBA circles have come to the conclusion that rather than building a Superteam, it's much more economically feasible and expeditious to just pluck away talent from the Bay Area juggernauts," the report added.
With several offers set to be received by Iguodala, the Warriors front office could be forced to give up on him. Bleacher Report said "re-signing the forward could plunge the Warriors deep into the luxury tax." The team is reportedly prepared to ink a deal with Iguodala when he becomes a free agent starting on July 1 but the most that the player can get is $12 million per season. Beyond the numbers, the GSW books will be disrupted.
If Iguodala signs up with another club, he could easily command an annual salary of $20 million, tops, which the Warriors will be unable to match, again limited by their luxury tax concerns.
ESPN said several teams would be willing to pay top dollars to bring home Iguodala. The Minnesota Timberwolves are looking to follow through on the fresh acquisition of Jimmy Butler and having Iguodala on board will boost their chance of earning playoffs tickets for Season 2017-18.
Also mentioned as possible destinations for Iguodala are the San Antonio Spurs, the LA Clippers, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Orlando Magic, the Brooklyn Nets, the Utah Jazz and the Boston Celtics, the report added, saying it remains unclear if Iguodala has plans to meet with executives of the clubs mentioned.
But the Warriors losing Iguodala will still leave the GSW core largely intact. Stephen Curry is practically confirmed to sign a supermax deal with the team, indicating he will stay in Oakland at least five years more. Kevin Durant is staying too in preparation for his share of supermax in 2018. Also, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson still have live contracts that will not expire until 2019.
Of note too is the likelihood of Shaun Livingston remaining with the Warriors. The reliable point guard will be on free agency too July 1 but his estimated maximum salary of $12 million per season is seen as something GSW can absorb with creating salary cap and luxury tax concerns.