Will Andre Iguodala wear a different jersey next year? Photo Credit: Joseph Glorioso, Flickr.com
There is a notion that no NBA superstar wants to stay and play for the Denver Nuggets.
Now there are rumors that even a pretty good player may not continue to call Pepsi Center his home after this season
Nuggets guard Andre Iguodala told Fox Sports Florida that it is highly likely he will opt out of his contract this summer and test the free-agent market. He says he wants a long-term contract and is not against re-signing with the Nuggets.
Nuggets nation has been down this road before and it was a worry from the time Iguodala was traded here last summer in the Dwight Howard-to-the Los Angeles Lakers blockbuster. Iguodala, who has had plenty of struggles with his shot this season, is fitting in nicely with the No. 3 seed Nuggets. He is only putting up about 12 points a game, but is valuable on the defensive end and as another ball handler.
Iguodala will have plenty of suitors but the real question is why not stay at least another year with the Nuggets? He is scheduled to make $16 million next season. Will a guy scoring 12 points a game make that much money in a long-term deal with another team? Probably not even close.
Carmelo Anthony left Denver for bigger and better things with the New York Knicks. LeBron James and Chris Bosh left Cleveland and Toronto to play for the Miami Heat. It is a superstar league and even with a new collective bargaining agreement they are controlling what teams become the super powers.
But no one would put Iguodala on the same level with James, Anthony, Bosh and even Deron Williams with the Brooklyn Nets. He is a good player but he is not the kind of guy to build a team around. He is a good second-fiddle player, which has him fitting in well with point guard Ty Lawson.
Do the Atlanta Hawks or Detroit Pistons give Iguodala a better chance to win a title than the Nuggets? Granted they do play in the weaker Eastern Conference, but the Nuggets have a better record than every team in the East except for the Heat.
The Nuggets’ front office has rewarded players they feel are part of their future with big contract extensions. Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and JaVale McGee have all signed new contracts in the past two seasons. Nuggets general manager Masaii Ujiri has said he sees these players as the future of the organization. Iguodala may not fit into that equation if he wants a high-paying contract.
The former Arizona standout has not lived up to a lot of expectations after the trade. He is not scoring as much as was expected and seems lost at the foul line. Still, he has been a big part of the Nuggets’ success with his tough defense and play-making skills.
If Iguodala wants to jump ship and take a big payday somewhere else then the Nuggets should just let him go. Anthony led the front office along with his talk of “it is a business” and “I am weighing my options” before he was traded to the Knicks.
The Nuggets seem to have a “if you don’t want to be here then we don’t want you here” kind of attitude since Ujiri took over. The roster has had a lot of turnover in the last two seasons and currently everything is coming together and a lot more stable.
If Iguodala is about the money, then he will end up somewhere else. If he wants to win and get an economical long-term deal, he will be part of the Nuggets’ future–a future that looks a lot brighter than the teams with all the cap space.