Report: Suns interested in Warriors’ soon-to-be free agent Andre Iguodala

Jun 1, 2017, 3:30 PM | Updated: Jun 2, 2017, 11:28 am
Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) dunks over Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) d...

Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala (9) dunks over Phoenix Suns forward T.J. Warren (12) during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, in Phoenix. The Warriors won 135-116. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Before Game 1 of the NBA Finals, reports have already begun surfacing about the future stability of the Golden State Warriors’ superteam.

Kevin Durant could be willing to take less than a max contract to keep the core of the Warriors’ together, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Chris Haynes report. Buried in their piece about Golden State’s roster structure is a note worthy of Suns fans’ attention.

(Andre) Iguodala is expected to receive interest from a number of teams such as Phoenix, Minnesota and Atlanta, league sources tell ESPN.

John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station confirmed the Suns’ interest in Iguodala.

Iguodala, of course, is the 2015 NBA Finals MVP who has played a key role for the Warriors as a defensive stopper and elite glue guy during the team’s three consecutive championship series appearances.

The small forward who averaged 7.6 points, 3.4 assists and four rebounds per game will become a free agent this summer, but Durant taking less money would have much to do with whether Golden State has room to re-sign the 33-year-old vet.

This is a premature scenario from Phoenix’s perspective. While the report of the Suns’ interest makes sense to some degree, the possibility of them even making a run at Iguodala in free agency depends on, at least, the following:

1. — Whether Durant indeed decides to take less to keep the Warriors’ core roster together; the story says “sources stressed that Durant has not yet decided on how to structure his next contract.”

2. — Whether Iguodala wants to make another run or two with Golden State (and that could very well depend on the outcome of the finals).

3. — Whether Iguodala would like the fit with the Suns over the more ready-to-compete rosters in Atlanta and Minnesota.

4. — Whether Iguodala likes the financial fit (Would he take a bigger, shorter contract?). Iguodala could fetch north of $15 million per season.

5. — Whether the Suns still feel the need for Iguodala’s services if they draft a similar wing like Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum or Jonathan Isaac. He could hamper their development.

6. — Whether the Suns are so quick to aim for more immediate improvement on the timeline of Eric Bledsoe’s prime rather than Devin Booker’s prime. The former would seemingly go against their strategy last season.

It might not make sense for the Suns to spend on an older player, but forward Jared Dudley, despite his own role being more up in the air with such a theoretical signing, apparently wouldn’t mind.

Forgetting age for a second, Iguodala is the type of signing that would keep the ball in Bledsoe and Booker’s hands and put out fires on both ends of the floor.

He would plug defensive holes on the perimeter and keep the offense moving, whether he’s playing off the ball or as a point-forward as he’s done in Golden State.

The fit makes less sense financially despite Phoenix having the money to spend.

Iguodala could be seeking a last lucrative long-term deal of his career, and whether that will hamper the Suns down the road — i.e. when Devin Booker is 24 instead of 21 — would be the top concern. That Iguodala has struggled with a left knee injury during this postseason might add to skepticism about his effectiveness in the coming years.

He is currently 13th among active players in total career regular season minutes played and 14th in playoff minutes.

Perhaps the biggest question mark regards how and if the former Arizona Wildcat would fit on Phoenix’s roster should general manager Ryan McDonough nab a player like Jackson in the draft. Jackson’s role-playing ability would fit well with the Suns and he would certainly lose opportunity playing next to Iguodala.

Of course, maybe the Suns foresee a mentor-mentee relationship as a good thing.

At this point, there aren’t nearly enough dominoes to have fallen to think about Iguodala in a Suns uniform (unless you’re still upset they passed on him in the 2004 NBA Draft).

Just know that the Suns, like many other teams, still see him as an elite NBA role player who might do more to improve their team than many No. 1 scoring options who will be on the market.

Penguin Air

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