Hitting free agency doesn’t mean Andre Iguodala wants to leave the Denver Nuggets; it just shows he’s looking to test the waters, and see what kind of contract are waiting for him out there, with not too many teams being able to afford him.
How much will he cost? Iguodala made just under $15 million last season, and despite a $16.1 million salary, he decided to use the ETO in his deal to see what kind of long-term deal he can get from a number of other teams around the league.
Unlike outside suitors (Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks, Utah Jazz and maybe the Charlotte Bobcats), the Nuggets can offer him a five year contract, compared with the four the rest of the league can give him. Iguodala just finished his ninth NBA season, and will be turning 30 midway through next one.
Maybe he’s fearing a dip in his form, but it’s possible that securing a long term deal is simply more important to him than a few million, because no one is likely to give him $14-15 million for the next four years. It’s more likely it’ll end up being $10-11 million.
The problem for Igudoala and the teams interested in him is his desire to play for a contender. Not for a title, but he wants to be in the postseason next year. The only team that might offer that kind of guarantee and can afford him are the San Antonio Spurs, but with Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green in the lineup, it’s not very likely he’ll get an invitation from the NBA finalists.
That leads us back to Denver, who decided that nine consecutive postseason appearances aren’t enough for George Karl to stick around, and fired him and his staff. That might be something Iguodala will consider once he makes his final decision, but the current roster is talented enough to reach the playoffs and do better than a first round exit even without Karl as the head coach.