Andre Iguodala says Stephen Curry should sit out whole year, subtly hints at a possible Warriors reunion
Iguodala said he has ‘selfish’ reasons for wanting Curry to rest up
Brad Botkin | CBS SPORTS
The Warriors didn’t want to get rid of Andre Iguodala; they were forced to. When they made the sign-and-trade that sent Kevin Durant — who they were going to lose for nothing — to the Nets in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, the result was a hard cap of $138.9 million, meaning the Warriors could not exceed that total salary at any point during the 2019-20 season.
Someone had to go. Iguodala, who was traded to Memphis, was the casualty. Only Iguodala didn’t want to play for Memphis, or even live there, and so a handshake deal was struck that he was only on the Grizzlies on paper. He doesn’t practice with them. He obviously doesn’t play with them.
Memphis wants to trade Iguodala to a contender, but so far nobody has offered anything to their liking. Everyone’s hoping the Grizzlies will end up having to buy Iguodala out, at which point someone else can sign him without having to trade any assets.
In the meantime, Iguodala is making $17.1 million to chill. Speaking on ESPN’s First Take on Friday, Iguodala said the rest he’s gotten so far this season has been a “blessing in disguise” that he believes has “added years” to his career.
He’s staying in shape because chances are he’s going to end up playing somewhere this season (the Grizzlies are running out of time to avoid buying him out) are pretty good. He talked about the Lakers and Clippers, long rumored as two of the favorites to land Iguodala should Memphis end up buying him out.
Iguodala also had something interesting to say about his former Warriors teammate Stephen Curry, who’s been out since the second week of the season with a broken hand but is reportedly targeting an early March return. When asked if Curry should return to play this season, here’s how Iguodala responded:
“Selfish reasons, no,” Iguodala said. “I think he needs to get a real break, in terms of being able to relax. I think it’s good for him mentally to be able to step away, be able to get a nice breather. He’s going to come back on wrath next year.”
So, about next year … Is a Warriors-Iguodala reunion a possibility? Yes. We’ve known that for some time. Golden State will not be hard-capped any longer after this season and would be free to re-sign Iguodala if he would agree to a contract that fits inside their exceptions. But two words have to make you wonder if this reunion is actually more likely than just a possibility: Selfish reasons.
Watch the video. Look at the smirk on Iguodala’s face when he says he has selfish reasons for wanting Steph Curry to sit out the rest of this season and come back fully rested next year.
What possible other selfish reasons would he have for wanting Curry to sit the rest of this season? If he ends up on a contender in a few weeks, it’s not like he’d have to worry about going against Curry in the playoffs. The Warriors have the worst record in the league. So what, then?
Obviously nothing definitive can be extracted from an off-the-cuff comment on TV, and even if Iguodala is hoping to return to Golden State next season, a lot can happen between now and then. He could end up on a contender this season, play great, maybe win a title, and decide he wants to stay for another year. The Warriors could want to go in a different direction once their offseason takes shape — though it’s hard for me to imagine, given their salary-cap options, that they wouldn’t take Iguodala back in a heartbeat if the money worked for both sides.
We’ll see how it shakes out. But for now, Iguodala thinks Curry should take a nice long rest this season and come back fresh. For selfish reasons.