Changes are coming for the Golden State Warriors' bench irrespective of when Andre Iguodala returns to the floor. Considering his cryptic tweet following his team's wholly dispiriting, all-too-familiar loss to the Orlando Magic, though, don't be surprised if Steve Kerr's altered rotation soon includes another four-time champion.
Iguodala appeared to tease the date for his 2022-23 season debut on Thursday night, taking to Twitter shortly after Kerr, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry all hinted at imminent changes to Golden State's struggling bench units on the postgame podium
— andre (@andre) November 4, 2022
Iguodala has yet to appear for the Warriors this season after spending the majority of the summer mulling retirement. He announced his return for one final season two days before Golden State tipped off training camp, insisting he spent the offseason planning to have already played his last NBA game.
The Warriors have taken a cautious approach to the 38-year-old's physical ramp-up as a result, with Iguodala telling reporters last week he'd still yet to participate in 5-on-5 with his teammates. He said he was “not that far from scrimmaging,” though, again and again coming back to the “plan” put in place by Golden State's revered head trainer Rick Celebrini when asked for specifics on his possible debut.
“I’ll be there when I’ll be there,” he said. “The plan is in place…I think we kinda know, so we got a target date.”
Iguodala's potential addition comes amid a four-game losing streak for the defending champions, who once again squandered a double-digit lead to an inferior opponent on Thursday in large part due to sweeping ineptitude of bench lineups. Kerr didn't tip his hand when forecasting changes behind his starters, but all signs suggest Jonathan Kuminga taking James Wiseman's place in the rotation will and should be among them.
Iguodala has embraced playing locker room leader and courtside mentor in the season's early going, but made clear when announcing his return that he expected to play real minutes for the Warriors this season. Expect him to compete with Moses Moody, Kuminga, JaMychal Green and Wiseman for court time, Iguodala's blend of positional versatility and two-way understanding providing Golden State some much-needed poise whenever and no matter how little he ultimately takes the floor.