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Veteran forward Andre Iguodala announced he will return for a 19th and final season Friday on his Point Forward podcast.
No deal has been formally announced, but Iguodala says he plans to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors.
Iguodala is an 18-year veteran who entered the NBA after the Philadelphia 76ers selected him ninth overall in the 2004 draft. He played eight years in Philly, capped by an All-Star nod in 2011-12.
After the season, Philadelphia dealt Iguodala to the Denver Nuggets in a four-team deal. He spent only one season in Denver before being moved to the Warriors in 2013.
Iguodala soon became an integral part of the Warriors’ dynasty, winning five Western Conference titles and three NBA championships while serving as the team’s top (and most versatile) reserve.
His finest hours occurred during the 2015 NBA Finals when he averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game en route to the series’ MVP award.
In February 2020, Iguodala was traded to the Miami Heat, who made the NBA Finals during the forward’s first year with the team. He played one more year in Miami before re-signing with the Warriors as a free agent ahead of the 2021-22 season on a one-year, $2.6 million contract.
Injuries kept him out for all but six regular-season games from Jan. 21 onward. He played four first-round games in the playoffs but then notably sat over a month with a left cervical disk injury (neck).
“It’s a huge loss,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters on April 27 when the injury was revealed.
Iguodala returned for the NBA Finals and soon earned his fourth NBA title.
His status remained in limbo throughout the summer, but NBA reporter Marc Stein noted on Sept. 18 that the team expected Iguodala back.
“The Warriors, I’m told, do expect Iguodala to play for one more season but are prepared for any outcome, and are also open to bringing the 18-year veteran back on his timetable,” Stein wrote.
He may not have put up gaudy numbers during the back half of his career, but his tremendous versatility has allowed the Warriors to put out some incredible lineups, including one that consisted of him, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
While Iguodala may not quite have a Hall of Fame resume, he’s clearly made an indelible mark on the game and will go down as one of the best glue guys this century.