I’m not bitter by Andre leaving the Nuggets. He had all the right to leave. He turned down more money. He wanted to play with players he liked and a coach that appreciated his talents. He was a free agent and he was traded to the Nuggets. He did not sign here under his own accord. But…there a few things that I can’t stop thinking about in the weeks that have gone by…
As we’ve heard in the media, he participated in Chapel with the Warriors players during the playoffs and it doesn’t take a blind man to see that he was the narc in the Curry-Gate drama. Iguodala didn’t quit on the Nuggets, in fact, he played the best ball of the year in that series. I knew, though, from the time I saw him chumming around with Mark Jackson that his time with the Nuggets was limited. You can’t force a player to play somewhere he doesn’t want to be and isn’t contractually obligated to be.
I hope the Warriors understand what exactly they are getting though. While Iggy was mere hours away from joining the Mavs he always wanted to play with the Warriors. I can see that a few things here were true: 1. He didn’t want to play for the Nuggets (boo hoo), 2. He wanted the money over the location.
Warriors fans are pumped. They should be after all. ESPN and other networks have led them to believe that Iggy is a star…a superstar even. You SHOULD always listed to ESPN and SHOULD always watch SportsCenter every morning…
Iggy’s PPG the last 6 years has gone from 19.9 to 13…his PER (player efficiency rating) has dropped from 18.8 to 15.2. His steals have gone down and assists and rebounds have stayed relatively similar. Field Goal % has gone up and down, three point % has done the same (Iggy is an awful shooter but is streaky as he showed in the playoffs)…The most telling sign of his decline as a scorer and “transformative” player would be his Free Throw % dropping from 72% to the AWFUL 57.5 % that it was last year. Teams can’t rely on a 57% free throw shooter in the playoffs (Iggy will be on the bench more often than not in crunch time minutes).
But I get the he “fits” in with the Warriors. They have young shooters. They run a fast-paced offense that gets “up and down the court.” Iggy is going to cause a few problems but the worst problem of all is who he will send to the bench. If I am a Warriors fan (and I’ve been a Nuggets fan my whole life) I am worried about sitting Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes in favor of someone who can’t shoot (because they both can). Do they move to a “Stretch 4” with Barnes starting at Power Forward…I can’t see this being a fit. Iggy’s defensive skills have also been greatly exaggerated. He’s a great help defender and he’s long enough to clog the passing lanes but an on-ball defender he is not anymore. Providing advanced statistics and video footage would be pointless…the Warriors will be on TNT and ESPN enough this year, just watch them.
The Nuggets finally avoided a headache in Free Agency (see past headaches Nene and Arron Afflalo) and did not have to pay market price for a player that they did not want. 57 wins is a long way off and ALL Nuggets fans should be patient with this team. Between Evan Fournier, Erick Green and Jordan Hamilton we have young talent that can help contribute and grow. Brian Shaw turned Lance Stevenson into a serviceable player and he’s
a lunatic unstable. The Nuggets have been on everyone’s “least improved list” this summer and it is probably warranted for now. However, this must be taken in context. Were the Nuggets automatic contenders with Iggy? Was he the ‘transformative’ player that would have made the difference? The Nuggets weren’t going to win a title with Iggy and we’re better off without him.
Spending $14 million per year for a 33 year old who can’t shoot or play perimeter D anymore is a risk that I am glad that the Nuggets don’t have to take.