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Warriors to ‘touch base’ with Andre Iguodala on playing decision in coming days

Warriors, Andre Iguodala, Steve Kerr

The Golden State Warriors have made a point of letting Andre Iguodala work through his decision to play one more season or call his career quits without interference. As training camp for the 2022-23 season fast approaches, though, they’ll apparently be taking a more active approach in recruiting Iguodala back to the fold.

During a Thursday appearance on Bay Area radio show Damon and Ratto, Steve Kerr revealed that he and the Warriors plan to “touch base” with the 38-year-old in coming days, stressing they’ll support Iguodala whether or not he returns.

Iguodala averaged 4.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in just 19.5 minutes per game during the regular season, helping Golden State get out to a blazing hot start with his typical blend of playmaking prowess, positional versatility and two-way guile. He played in just 31 games due to a series of nagging injuries, though, and persistent inflammation in his right knee limited Iguodala to just seven appearances during the Warriors’ postseason title run.

Needless to say, Iguodala isn’t close to the star role player he was while winning NBA Finals MVP in 2015, or even the aging yet reliable veteran who remained a fixture for Golden State into his mid-thirties. He’s far more all-around mentor and coach-to-player conduit now than reliably impactful bench contributor.

All summer, however, Warriors players and coaches—not to mention owner Joe Lacob—lauded Iguodala’s intangible significance to their fourth championship in eight years, reiterating how valuable his leadership traits would remain in 2022-23 if he were to to put off retirement.

Golden State has 13 players on guaranteed contracts for this season, earmarking a 14th roster spot for Iguodala. Though training camp tips off on September 24th, don’t be surprised if Iguodala’s status stays unknown to the public through early October. The Warriors might need an update on his thought process as the calendar flips to fall, but they still won’t rush him.

If Iguodala decides to retire, Golden State will likely leave one roster spot open heading into the regular season, awarding its 14th slot to the fringe player—perhaps two-way player Quinndary Weatherspoon, Summer League star Mac McClung or veteran sharpshooter Ben McLemore, among others—who impresses most in unofficial team workouts and training camp.

[Damon and Ratto]