And this most important free agency signing of the summer is…

“Take the money and run”

-Steve Miller Band

“This is a moral test of one’s self, whether or not you can maintain loyalty.”

-John Travolta as Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction

The most intriguing free agency signing this off-season is not you who think it is.

Paul George surprised everyone by becoming Durant 2.0 in Oklahoma City.  His isn’t the biggest deal of the summer.  Chris Paul left Los Angeles to sign with the Houston Rockets while Blake Griffin decided to stay put.  Those contracts are newsworthy yet borderline irrelevant.  The Celtics got Gordon Hayward, Zach Randolph flew the coop to Sacramento, Jimmy Butler got traded on draft night and there are most certainly a few other surprises in store before it’s all said and done.

That’s all fine and dandy.  The musical chairs period of the NBA’s free agency has officially begun.

But these are not the biggest signings of the off-season.  Far from it.  Despite all the fancy wheeling and dealing, none of the aforementioned teams will win a title in the immediate future, rendering them gossip-worthy yet bigger picture meaningless.

No, the contract that interests me the most is Andre Iguodala’s.

Why Iguodala, you ask?  He’s 33 years old and most definitely past his prime.  He ultimately decided to stay with the Warriors after briefly dipping his toe in the free agency waters to see just how much money he could earn elsewhere.  Not much to see here, right?

Wrong.

That, my friends, is exactly why his contract situation is the most telling of them all.

You don’t need an NBA road map these days to tell you the Golden State Warriors are the best team in the league, and most likely will be again next year regardless of what other rosters fruitlessly try to bridge that gap.  Had Andre Iguodala decided to leave Golden State, they would probably still be favored to win it all.  His absence would in many ways have hurt their style of play but the Warriors could still have won another title without him.

That’s not to say he doesn’t contribute.  Heck, he was Finals MVP three years ago and finished second in last year’s Six Man of the Year voting.  Let’s just say that, hypothetically speaking, had he decided to jump ship, Steve Kerr would have found a way to supplement his 26 minutes and 7.6 points per game, probably by just letting the big three take more shots.

Iguodala’s is the name most commonly mentioned when it comes to players making sacrifices, especially when it comes to the Golden State roster.  After all, Iggy was once a starter and major contributor.  He was a 20-points per game scorer in Philadelphia.  But that was a long time ago.  It’s highly unlikely that he could have recreated the Iggy of old had he moved on.

Still, he tested the market… as he should have.  At 33, this might be the last big contract he signs.  But at what cost?  Was he willing to give up more money for what’s most assuredly a few more rings and a diminished role on the floor and how much more money would that have taken?

What is more important?

Iguodala informed the Warriors that he was going to test the market.  Things were handled amicably.  After all, Iguodala had built up a fair amount of good will while in Golden State.  I’m sure they understood and respected his position knowing he would be offered more elsewhere.  When it was all said and done, the Warriors ended up paying him $48 million over three years, far from chump change unless you consider the guy a few lockers over just got paid four times that.  With Curry, Durant, Thompson and Green also all banking, 48 million was the most they could have paid Iguodala.  Durant even took less money so they could keep him.  The Lakers, Spurs and Rockets all expressed interest in Iguodala and probably could have offered him more money.  He would have ended up playing more minutes too… in a losing effort.

That’s what made Iguodala’s decision so intriguing.  It’s like making a deal with the devil, a sharp-shooting, three-point barraging, 130-points per game scoring devil.  Take less, play less, win more.  All sounds like a fair trade-off to me.

These career decisions don’t take place in a vacuum and can’t be compared to anything else.  I could ask you whether you’d take more money to work in a less successful firm or less to work for a better one but that comparison doesn’t hold water.

For Iggy, the choice was simple.  Land one last monster contract to take care of your family for generations to come or stay put and clear a lot more room in your trophy case.  I ask you, does winning championships ever get boring?  Apparently not for Iguodala.

In the end, not too many fans are surprised he stayed put.  $48 million is nothing to sneeze at.  Nor is his opportunity to win three more rings as his career winds down.

But for a max deal, would he have gone elsewhere?  Would it have been worth it?  Would another fifty million would have made the difference?  If he had been offered $100 million and a slightly longer deal, would he have taken it?  Would you have?  How much are championships and peace of mind worth and how much money does one man need?

Andre Iguodala staying in Golden State is the most important free agency signing of the summer because it keeps the core intact for a team already heavily favored to repeat.  It also speaks of one’s priorities.

If I offered you Golden State or the field to win next year’s NBA title, you’d have to take Golden State, right?  It’s the smart play.  Iguodala knew that too and that’s why he’s staying put.

19 thoughts on “And this most important free agency signing of the summer is…

  1. Exactly.

    Love me some Iggy….One of the most overlooked stars out there.

    Franchise player at one time as A.I. 2.0 in Philly
    2× NBA champion (2015, 2017)
    NBA Finals MVP (2015)
    NBA All-Star (2012)
    NBA All-Defensive First Team (2014)
    NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2011)
    NBA All-Rookie First Team (2005)
    NBA Rookie Challenge MVP (2006)
    Olympic Gold Medal (2012)

    And one of the glue guys, if not THE glue guy for the Warriors.

    Had they lost him this off season, it might have been a much bigger deal than one would think. They should thank their lucky stars he decided to stay.


  2. The Warriors remain the team to beat and the Cavaliers are in complete disarray. Cleveland’s ower Dan Gilbert fired GM David Griffin , architect of their championship winning team. LBJ hasn’t said anything about Griffin’s dismissal and neither has team head coach Tyronn Lue.

    Hands off to JJ Redick in getting the imbeciles of the Philadelphia 76ers into paying him $24 million for the upcoming season. Front office executives Jerry & Bryan Colangelo are beginning to make Phil Jackson and Magic Johnson seem like goddamn geniuses.

    Still trying to figure out Pat Riley’s mindset and his reconstructing the Miami Heat roster ?

    ‘melo apparently has agreed to waive his no-trade clause , but I am not so sure the Cavaliers can afford him , while seeking to remain profitable and below the league mandated salary cap of $99.1 million.

  3. So Bleed…

    Who’s the second best team in the West these days? Still San Antonio? What are the odds LaMarcus is still on that roster when the season starts?

    And do the Rockets make any more moves?

  4. The West is going to be extremely difficult this year but the Warriors are obviously still the top team with the Spurs, Rockets, Thunder rounding out the top 4 in no particular order but all 3 have big question marks.

    Spurs – point guard. Lemarcus Aldridge?
    Rockets – Can two ball dominant players compliment each other?
    Thunder – What can the supporting cast do?

    I’m actually intrigued about the rest of the West as there may be some good teams that don’t even make the playoffs as the T-Wolves, Clippers, Trailblazers, Pelicans, Grizzlies, Jazz, Nuggets will all be fighting for the final four spots.

    BTW… The East is horrible…

  5. Why not run out the clock on his career with a winner where he doesn’t have to be the star player. you know how old I am, and I sure as shit don’t want to work hard at my job anymore.

  6. TBD. Too much movement and too many questions at the moment.

    ….But you can for sure add the Timberwolves and Thunder to that short list of yours.

    Clips, Grizzlies and Utah are now out of the running IMO…Maybe even behind Portland at this point.

    I don’t believe in New Orleans’ twin towers chemistry yet. As hard as it is to muster up these words….I think Sacramento could surprise and make a showing if they click.

  7. Al…

    The Sixers needed some veteran leadership but I’m not sure a) Redick is that guy and b) he’s the guy they’ll listen to. We shall see.

    And yea, it sure sounds like Cleveland is a mess right now. Let’s see what happens but I don’t think anybody would bet money that Bron Bron will be playing there the season after next.

  8. Fabes…

    ESPN threw up one of their random statistics the other night. Usually I don’t pay much attention to them but this one was telling.

    It listed the fifteen most productive players in the league. LeBron was number one. The other fourteen played in the West.

    Re: that conference, I think Memphis is done. Stick a fork in ’em. No Zebo, no Vinsanity. I’m not too sure they did anything but get worse this off-season. Not too sure about Utah either without their great white hope.

    Look out for Sacramento though. They could sneak in there somehow with everything they’ve done this summer.

  9. Dubs…

    These guys have egos though, something inside (and often wrong) telling them they can be the best, lead a team, lift a team, still score 25, etc.

    Fortunately, cooler thoughts within Iggy’s head prevailed.

  10. Bleed…

    I’m with you on Sactown…. and NOLA. What has this team done to give Davis any help and how long ’til they do?

    They might want to consider doing that soon before he looks elsewhere to make his life a little easier.

    Adding someone who plays his same position (Cousins) isn’t my idea of helping.

  11. Second time isn’t necessarily a charm and LeBron is now finding that out. K-Love still remains on the roster and God knows why , considering he was such a bust during the Playoffs. As for Kyrie Irving , he simply proved he’s overpaid for what he brings to the Cavaliers. Is ESPN’s J A Adande still pressing his lips firmly against LBJ’s nut-sack ?

    JJ Redick and the $23 million will go up in flames ., along with the Sixers this upcoming season. Not so sure what front office executives Bryan and Jerry Colangelo are trying to do , but they clearly have a long way to go. No way the team wins more than thirty games over the course of their regular season schedule .

    I see the Heat have signed Kelly Olynyk . One tall un-athletic white guy added to the roster. No sightings of Big Country or Shawn Bradley but there’s Olynyk and his four-year $50 million deal. Pat Riley wants to throw a party down on South Beach, but he’s now waiting for the tide to move out . Not exactly sure what he’s now trying to do when it comes to the deals made and the money being paid out .

    Your thoughts on the lunacy now taking place concerning the prospective ownership of the Marlins ? Asking price by team owner Jeffrey Loria has now dropped from his opening of $2 billion to now $1.1 billion. Now only one group remains and I am not so sure Jorge Mas will pay the $1 .1 billion being asked for by Loria . Poor old Derek Jeter , wanted to own an MLB team, but wasn’t prepared to put up his own money or relinquish any control he sought. What a prick he’s turning out to be.

  12. Al…

    It’ll be interesting to see who’s on the Cavs roster after this season.

    Redick in Philly? In a shitty Eastern conference, that team has enough young talent to make the eight seed. Their head coach is Brett Brown. Do we have any idea who this is?

    Olynyk to Miami? So he and Whiteside? They were actually better that I expected them to be last year. Let’s see if that was a fluke.

    And I haven’t been paying attention to the Marlins sale, man. The Rays have enough issues of their own.

  13. Chris,

    Sometimes a star-studded team tends to implode. Already Klay Thompson is auditioning in China. You remember the old gambling cliche, ” no such thing as a lock”.

  14. The Sixers are not good enough to win their division much less win a Playoff berth in the East. Anyone who believes Brett Brown has the ability to coach winning basketball is simply delusional.

    I don’t think Kelly Olynyk will add anything to the Heat’s offense. He was barely noticeable on the Celtics last season. The Boston Celtics were simply about Isiah Thomas , Al Horford and Avery Bradley. Now because of salary cap implications and their acquiring Gordon Hayward , Bradley became disposable and he was traded to the Detroit Pistons. For me the current Celtics’ team is a danger to the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a great coach in Brad Stevens and one hell of GM in Danny Ainge. Cleveland remains in complete disarray and I am really surprised LeBron hasn’t gone off Dan Gilbert , after Gilbert fired GM David Griffin .

    The Miami Marlins’ potential sale has now become drama on the highest level. The Tagg Romney, Wayne Rothbaum , Jeb Bush , Tom Glavine , Al Leiter , Dave Stewart consortium dropped out of the bidding process and the lone survivor now appears to be Miami businessman and mogul , Jorge Mas Canosa , whose family owns the company MasTec.

    I can’t believe Derek Jeter was dumb enough to believe he could become an owner without putting up any of his own money (Jeter’s net worth is in excess of $170 million). One more reason to indicate why baseball has no owners with any type of real business acumen and that includes the league hierarchy.

    On side-note , have you read the idiocy by the WBO (World Boxing Organization) and their intent to re-score the Pacquiao Horn fight ? The result will still stand , but the scorecards from the (original) title fight will be null and void. What type of bull$hit is that ? I can’t see boxing working in prime time on a broadcast network much less via a cable outlet. What interest there is in the sport, has been dwindling at an alarming rate over the last ten years in spite of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

  15. I agree, Bets.

    Stranger things have happened.

    Yet this team seems to have good chemistry.

    If I set the over of titles won over the next three years for these Golden State Warriors at 1.5, whatcha takin’?

  16. Brett Brown was Pop’s assistants for twelve years and was also a coach in Australia for some time… I think he coached both Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons dads over there but I’m not 100% sure on that.. they do love him in Philly though for putting up with their bullshit for however long he’s been there…

    I also saw that stat on ESPN and looking at the players I couldn’t help but agree to most of them….

    Look out for the T-Wolves… Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamaal Crawford are really going to help the young guys out… I predict they will be the 5 team in the west… lots of firepower on that team.

  17. Chris,
    @pic’em I’ll take the under. I give LBJ a fair chance next year with the hope that Lakers build a superteam with FOs the following 2 years. Pitfalls happen on the way to the finals also. 2 key injuries would make the GSWs very vulnerable.

  18. Fabes…

    That’s all fine and dandy, re: Brown, but sometimes the apple falls very far from that tree.

    Take Rob Hennigan for example. This guy worked in the front office of the Spurs for a minute then went to GM the Magic after a stint in OKC.

    That was a disaster. He was the one who presided over the Victor Oladipo-Serge Ibaka fiasco as well as the worst five-year streak in Magic history.

    I’m not wishing ill will on the Sixers. I’m just saying unless they’re getting Pop, they’re not getting Pop. And I’m still not sold on Ben Simmons. This guy is gonna have a lot of young egos to manage.

    T’Wolves as the fifth seed, huh. Stephon Marbury would be proud.

  19. Bets…

    I’ll take your bet. The loser has to write a post (in three years, or perhaps less depending on how the wager pans out) about how the other is all-seeing, all-knowing.

    You in?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*