A successful regular season ended in playoff disappointment, resulting in the head coach getting fired and replacing the general manager for the Denver Nuggets, but the current squad is staying mostly intact, hoping that they’ll be able to re-sign Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala arrived last season, ready to play the final year of his contract, through a very complicated 4-team trade. He added some toughness, defense and experience to a very young squad that needed more than just being a run & gun team. Iguodala averaged 13.4 points for the team, but his importance isn’t usually measured with numbers. The fact that the Nuggets had their best season ever was proof enough that his addition and presence worked.
But the Nuggets’ front office didn’t like some of the things George Karl was doing with the team – not developing players like JaVale McGree and the inability to make it past the first round of the postseason each year except for 2009 stood out among all his regular season success, leading to the drastic change.
Tom Connelly, the new GM, knows what should be the first order of business – keeping Iguodala with the team.
The last guy we talked to before coming in for this press conference was Andre. He’s such a pro that he’s out there on the court working out. That can probably be said about almost anyone on this team, but there’s no doubt that Iguodala brings something different to the team’s DNA when compared with Danilo Gallinari, Ty Lawson, Andre Miller and the other perimeter players.
Iguodala made $14.9 million last season, and the 29 year old is likely going to look for a multi-year contract that pays him around the same amount, but it’s hard to see anyone but the Nuggets being able to give him this kind of money and some long-term promises.
The team’s owner, Stan Kroenke, thinks there’s a 100% chance Iguodala stays with the team next season and for the foreseeable future. I had a good conversation with his agent last week. Andre is somebody we definitely want to bring back, and Andre is aware of our intentions to bring him back as well.
The 29-year old Iguodala will be entering his 10th NBA season next year, spending the first eight with the Philadelphia 76ers. He was mostly known for being a high-flying entertainer during his first years in the league, averaging over 17 points per game between 2006 and 2010. The arrival of Doug Collins changed his playing style, limiting his offensive contribution, but turning him into one of the best wing defenders in the NBA.
His numbers certainly dropped, but his play did earn him playoff appearances in 2011 and 2012, not to mention his first All-Star appearance in 2012, and being part of the London Olympics Dream Team roster, ending up winning a gold medal.