The Golden State Warriors aren’t rushing Andre Iguodala into making a decision on his future. Anthony Slater of The Athletic recently reported that the defending champions will leave a roster spot open for the veteran wing entering training camp, affording Iguodala all the time he could possibly need to choose between playing another season and finally calling his career quits.
Iguodala has stayed notably mum about retirement since the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics to win a fourth title in eight seasons last month. But on the most recent episode of the Point Forward, the podcast Iguodala hosts with Evan Turner, Golden State owner Joe Lacob tried his best at forcing the veteran into tipping his hand:
Lacob: “So, are you coming back next year?”
Iguodala: “Y’all want me to come back?”
Turner: “Dre says he wants $28 million!”
Lacob: “That he’s not getting, I can assure you…I gotta pay all these young guys, man!”
Iguodala, of course, didn’t reveal his plans way or another, merely laughing at Turner’s ridiculous single-season salary demand before quickly moving on. As much as all of Dub Nation wants to know if he’s coming back, Iguodala may not currently know that answer himself.
Lacob did expand on why why Golden State would welcome the oft-injured 38-year-old reserve back to The Bay with open arms, though:
“By the way, this guy didn’t play very much I’m looking at on my screen, Andre here. But I think you had a huge impact,” he said. “That does not go without notice. Huge impact. I watch you on the sidelines, I watch you in the locker room, and that was part of our strategy, too, to get you back.”
Iguodala is more locker room leader and bench-warming mentor at this point in his career than a true impact player. He’s still a quality all-around athlete and genius decision-maker, but age and injuries have sapped Iguodala of the top-tier explosiveness that helped compensate for his wayward jumper. There’s no guarantee he’d get regular minutes in 2022-23 if he decided to play.
Clearly, Lacob and the Warriors believe Iguodala would provide immense value regardless.