Warriors sign Andre Iguodala, dump contracts of Biedrins, Jefferson

OK, a lot to cover, so take a deep breath before we get started.

First, the Warriors finally unloaded Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson’s horrendous contracts on another team. It had been reported in the past 24 hours that the Warriors were planning to do just that in the hopes of improving the chances they land Dwight Howard (more on this in a bit). The Jazz are the poor saps who get burdened with Biedrins ($9 million) and Jefferson ($11 million) expiring contracts. To sweeten the deal, the Warriors threw in a host of future draft picks, including first-rounders in 2014 and 2017 and Brandon Rush, who recently opted in with Golden State. The Warriors in return receive only somebody called Kevin Murphy.

Biedrins AND Jefferson are gone! Just like that! Already the Warriors are figurative in the green for Friday. And you’re telling me it gets better? Hoo boy!

With some $20 million cleared in cap space, that paved the way for the Warriors to pull the trigger on what would prove to be the big news of the day. No, it wasn’t signing Dwight Howard, but instead…

The Iguodala chatter started up recently and after the Warriors maneuvered money around, they get to dance with the guy they’ve been giving the look from across the dancefloor for several years.

The four-years, $48 million is cheaper than the four-years, $52 million the Kings offered Iguodala and then rescinded earlier this week. The Nuggets offered similar figures to what the Kings did but with fifth-year options.

Dre, your thoughts?

Whoa whoa, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and declare the Warriors title contenders just yet (despite Brian Scalabrine’s addition to the coaching staff). But from the Warriors’ side this is a dynamite pick up. Iguodala gives them the quality perimeter defender they’ve been needing, as well as an extra ball-handler and a player who doesn’t have a shoot-first mentality. He can fill the stat sheet across the board, which is ideal for somebody at the two/three spot because we all know the Warriors already have plenty of scorers (and no, Draymond Green, that doesn’t include you).

So, what does this mean for the Warriors in their other free agency decisions?

More directly, it pretty much ends their chances of re-signing Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry. The Warriors had to renounce their rights to both free agents when they picked up Iguodala. And per Marcus Thompson:

Golden State had the Bird rights to Jack, which meant they could sign him to a new contract despite being over the cap. But to get under the cap, the Warriors had to waive that right and now Golden State can’t afford Jack or Landry.

While a top six of Curry, Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee and Andrew Bogut sounds good, the likely departures of Jack and Landry slash the Warriors’ depth considerably. Golden State’s front office is smart and knew there was already a good chance they could lose both role players, but there was probably hope they could retain at least one of the two. Now, the team needs to dip into the free agency pool or scrounge together pieces in a trade to add reliable depth at point guard and the frontcourt, which right now is the bigger priority of the two. Make no mistake, Landry and Jack were valuable reserve players. They leave big shoes for the Warriors fill.

The Iguodala acquisition also had an impact on the Warriors chances in the ongoing Dwight Howard soap opera (until it didn’t). It was reported that the Warriors were on the outside looking in for Howard’s top two before they went into dealing mode, which reportedly vaulted them up the ladder. But Howard is Houston bound FOR NOW, although this is Dwight Howard we’re talking about.

I’ve been pretty harsh over the last few days on Dwight and the Warriors for their pursuit of him. But I’ll be honest—part of me was hoping the Warriors came away from this as Howard’s choice, just to be able to marvel at the final masterpiece Bob Myers would have completed in a matter of hours Friday. Had Myers done the unthinkable — dump $24 million in bad contracts on somebody else and come away with both Andre Iguodala and Howard, the top free agent on the market — he would have been a lock for Executive of the Year.

But that’s all in the past. Now is time for a different round of emotions. At first, after the Iguodala signing, it was like poppin’ bottles. Now reality sets. The Warriors still have other very real needs on the roster that they need to address whenever Myers is no longer shitfaced from celebrating the impressive moves he pulled off Friday. Dwight Howard is finally out of the picture. Now the Warriors can divert their attention to their other pressing needs.



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