Andre Iguodala reacts to a call.

Andre Iguodala Leaving The Golden State Warriors?

Is small forward Andre Iguodala looking to leave the Golden State Warriors?

Iguodala is slated to hit free agency in July, and there are several rumors regarding his status with the Warriors, who would like to have him back.

After helping the Golden State Warriors win two NBA championships in three seasons, Andre Iguodala might be looking to cash in on what is likely going to be the last big contract he signs. What will motivate Iguodala to leave the Warriors would not be a huge payday, but an opportunity to start and be a bigger contributor on a team. Iguodala is proof that the success of the Warriors can be a gift and a curse.

With any championship team, there is almost certainty for some turnover; the Golden State Warriors have proven to not be an exception. And despite being built for the long haul, there seems to be a guarantee that the Warriors will be without at least one core member of their team next season. That might become a fact as Yahoo Sports is reporting that Andre Iguodala is expected to entertain free agency offers from other teams.

Iguodala will go down in NBA lore as the player most responsible for slowing down LeBron James in the first leg of an epic three-part championship pairing against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Without Iguodala staying step for step with James in the 2015 NBA Finals, the Warriors do not win. Simply put, Andre Iguodala is vital to what the Warriors do defensively.

Andre Iguodala dunks on JR Smith.
If Andre Iguodala leaves the Golden State Warriors it would be to have a more significant offensive role on a team. [Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]

During the Warriors’ championship runs few players have sacrificed more for the team than Andre Iguodala. Iguodala embraced the role of reserve after several seasons as a starter and NBA all-star with the Philadelphia 76ers, then the Denver Nuggets. The 33-year-old wing was regarded as one of the best all-around players in the NBA. The Warriors were able to sell him on how effective he and the team can be if he became the sixth man. Winning the MVP award for the 2015 NBA Finals was icing on the cake to justify the sacrifice Iguodala made.

Many observers will assume that Iguodala’s offense left him, but that is far from being the case. With the Warriors, he did not need to score. And by playing minutes as a reserve for the better part of four seasons with the Warriors, he was able to save his legs.

There will be plenty of suitors for Andre Iguodala once he hits free agency. The Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat are all expected to contact him. There also could be a surprise team in the mix, such as the Boston Celtics, should they strike out on all of their targets this offseason.

Andre Iguodala reacts to forcing a turnover.
With the Golden State Warriors, Andre Iguodala became a defensive force, but his offense never left him. [Image by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]

Andre Iguodala leaving the Golden State Warriors is no slam dunk, either. According to Bleacher Report, both sides appear to be in discussions of a long-term contract extension that could keep him with the Warriors for the rest of his career.

If the Warriors are successful in locking up Iguodala to an extension, it will open up the prospects of guard Shaun Livingston leaving for a larger role. Livingston is another pivotal player the Warriors had, who sacrificed his individual game for the sake of playing for a championship team. If he leaves the Warriors in free agency, it will open up the opportunity for Ian Clark to get more playing time.

With another season under his belt, Clark should be vastly improved.

Much like last offseason, there will be some changes on the Golden State Warriors’ roster. The players who are most likely to ponder leaving are Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston. The Warriors can ill afford to lose them both, but one of them will likely leave. Another question mark the Warriors must face is what to do with Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee. Both were wondrous revelations this past season.

[Featured Image by Jason Miller/Getty Images]