The Golden State Warriors have been holding a roster spot for veteran forward Andre Iguodala this offseason, as they await his decision to retire or return. There is no real indication on what Iguodala will decide, but the 2015 Finals MVP recently revealed that an update is coming during his next podcast episode.
Iguodala’s decision will ultimately determine how the Warriors approach the remainder of their offseason. Should Iguodala retire, the team will have two roster spots to fill. It was recently reported by Anthony Slater of The Athletic that Golden State would be bringing in veteran free agents Ben McLemore, Elfrid Payton, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and Kenneth Faried for workouts. Should Iguodala retire, it would not be surprising to see Golden State sign a veteran in his place, while perhaps taking a chance on a young player with their final roster spot.
Best scenario for the Warriors
While Andre Iguodala has been integral to Golden State’s dynasty over the years, which is why the team is allowing him to dictate his own future, the 18-year veteran is undoubtedly at the end of the road. With injuries keeping him to just 31 games last season, and only seven in the playoffs, Iguodala did not spend much time on the floor.
His veteran presence is certainly impactful for young players like Jonatan Kuminga, Moses Moody, James Wiseman, and others; however, such a role is likely better suited for a coach than a spot on the roster. For this reason, the Warriors would benefit from Iguodala opting for retirement, and giving his roster spot to a player who is more likely to contribute this season.
When asked recently about Iguodala’s looming decision on 95.7 The Game’s “Damon and Ratto” show, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said, “We hope he comes back… There’s going to be times during the season where he’ll be healthy and helping us win games and they’ll be times where he’s not playing but still patrolling that locker room and making sure guys are learning how to win and how to be champions.”
Such a role would be similar to the one he had last season, although his on-court impact has also declined alongside his availability. For this reason, the Warriors could almost certainly find a more productive player in his role, which makes Iguodala opting for retirement the best case scenario for Golden State.
The positives of an Iggy return
On paper, there’s little argument that the Warriors can find a more productive player than Andre Iguodala. That said, there is a case to be made this his locker room presence is more valuable than what another player could provide on the floor. If the Warriors feel content with their depth, Iguodala taking a roster spot while essentially being a mentor, is not an awful outcome.
This is the one positive element of an Iguodala return for the Warriors, and one they can likely afford to handle with their current roster construction. Nobody outside of a team’s locker room can truly speak on the impact a certain player has. Having been with the Warriors organization for the entirety of their dynasty, Iguodala has cemented himself as a legend in The Bay. While finishing his career with a title wouldn’t be a bad way to go out, the veteran forward may feel as if he’s got one more in him.