While the Golden State Warriors are waiting for Andre Iguodala to decide whether he’s coming back for another season, there could be another accomplished NBA veteran ready to take his place.
The Warriors have reportedly saved a roster spot for Iguodala if he chooses to return for what would be his 19th NBA season. Even though he had a turbulent season last year, appearing in only 31 games as he dealt with a series of injuries, the Warriors value Iguodala’s veteran leadership off the floor. Iguodala served as a mentor for the team’s younger players and even did some in-game coaching of his teammates during the playoffs.
If Iguodala should choose to retire, the Warriors could look to Blake Griffin to fill that void.
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Griffin a Potential Target for Warriors, Insider Says
Griffin appeared in 56 games for the Brooklyn Nets last season, averaging a career-low 6.4 points in 17.1 minutes per game. As one league executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney, Griffin still responded well to his diminished role and will likely find a new home next season.
“He’ll get signed, it would be a surprise if he doesn’t,” the executive said. “They obviously moved him out of the rotation during the year and that hurt, but he handled it like a pro and he is just one of those guys you like to have on your bench. He might be your 10th or 11th man now, but he showed he is ready when he gets called on.”
The executive believes that Griffin would be a strong fit for the Warriors given their mix of young players and veterans.
“If you’re a contender, he’d be a good guy to have at the end of the bench and the Warriors know that,” the executive said. “They have some developmental guys but they’re going to want some veteran presence there, too, somebody they can slide in for a few games when they need him and know he’ll be ready even if he has not played in a week. That’s where Griffin is at in his career. At least, they’d like to have him on their side so he does not wind up in Phoenix or Dallas or somewhere.”
Warriors Tried to Land Griffin in 2021
The Warriors have some history with Griffin. After his buyout with the Detroit Pistons last year, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Warriors were among the teams interested in signing him.
Griffin ultimately ended up signing with the Nets, while the Warriors held back from making any major roster moves during the season. The Warriors went on to add a veteran presence by signing Iguodala that next offseason.
The interest at the time was mutual. In an appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast, Griffin shared that he “really liked” Golden State as an option after his buyout.
Griffin could be a good fit for Golden State’s tricky financial circumstances. The team is already deep in the luxury tax, and adding Griffin — who reportedly signed with the Nets for a minimum contract — could be a financial fit.