What the Nuggets feared when signing Andre Iguodala last summer came true when the swingman signed a four-year $48 million deal with the Golden State Warriors.
Coming into the summer Iguodala was one of the premier free agents. The Nuggets made it known from the tip that signing Iggy was a top priority, but after the Sacramento Kings laid out a four-year $52 million (and quickly revoked), the question loomed just how much he was worth.
No doubt, Iguodala is a difference maker in the NBA and will make the team he is on better. First of all, he’s a superior perimeter defender. Iggy’s length allows him to deflect passes and his athleticism gives him a shot to stick with zippy point guards. He’s a terrific pick and roll defender. On the offensive end Iguodala often ran the offense with his outstanding vision and passing skills. He can fill up the stat sheet. The drawback with Iggy is his scoring. During the regular season he averaged a measly 13 points and carried a pass first mentality through most of the season, especially frustrating after watch him occasionally explode to the rim with LeBron James-esque jams. His jump shot is inconsistent and only shot 31 percent from 3-point range. Iguodala can score at times, and at his pinnacle he’s a poor man’s LeBron – he can do everything.
The uncertainty surrounding the Nuggets this summer most likely played a role in Inguodala heading west, as well as the intrigue of joining the squad that lit his team up in the playoffs last year. Iguodala will join sharpshooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to form a dynamic starting lineup. Iguodala will help out a mediocre Golden State defense and will have two deadeye shooters to dish to in a fast-paced offense that suits Iggy’s game.
For the Nuggets, it’s time to starting making moves. Resigning Corey Brewer should be a priority, he adds energy on the defensive and depth that is needed in the playoffs. Aside from Brewer, the next best option to replae Iguodala would be Andrei Kirilenko. Kirilenko avergaed 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals for the TImberwolves last season and has always been known as a solid defender. Kirilenko chose to exercise his $10.2 million to search for a more stable contract, and at 32, the Nuggets might not want to commit. For the short term, Kirilenko looks like the best available option.