Warriors Rumors: Team Saving Roster Spot for Popular Veteran to Return

Andre Iguodala

Getty Andre Iguodala reacts to a play in a Golden State Warriors game.

After winning his fourth title with the Golden State Warriors, Andre Iguodala has still not publicly announced whether he will be coming back next season.

If the 38-year-old does decide to return for what would be his 19th season, there will be a spot waiting for him on the Warriors’ bench, an insider says.

The Warriors brought Iguodala back for last season but he was plagued by injuries that limited him to just 31 regular season games and seven appearances in the playoffs. Iguodala’s on-court impact was limited this season as well, as he averaged 1.6 points in 8.7 minutes per game.

Despite the limitations Iguodala faced last year, Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that the team would welcome him back if he decides to give it another go.

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No Decision Yet for Iguodala

Throughout the last season, Iguodala dropped hints that he would be headed to retirement after the season ended. Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick in April, Iguodala admitted that the season was a disappointment due to his string of injuries but hinted that another NBA title would be a good way to cap off his career.

“I haven’t been out there as much as I’d like,” Iguodala said, “but sometimes even if things don’t work out to a T, you still know your presence is being felt and you’re getting the job done. I feel like that. …

“It’s shaping up to be a special way to go out, whether it’s this year or next year or whenever.”

As Slater reported, Iguodala still hasn’t reached a decision on whether he’ll retire, and the Warriors aren’t pushing him to decide.

“The Warriors have imposed no firm deadline on an Andre Iguodala retirement-or-return decision. If he opts to play another season, a roster spot will be awaiting him,” Slater reported. “It’d be easier for the Warriors to piece together their full roster plans if they already knew either way on Iguodala, but this isn’t a decision (or a person) the Warriors can push on a particular timeline.”

New Role for Warriors Veteran

There could be a unique role waiting for Iguodala if he does return. One Western Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that Warriors head coach Steve Kerr would welcome Iguodala onto the coaching staff if he wanted, but could also follow the path of Miami Heat who keep a roster spot reserved for veteran Udonis Haslem every year.

“Those two get along very well, they understand each other. I think Steve would be OK with Andre doing the Udonis Haslem thing where he is playing but not playing, just a coach in uniform,” the executive said.

Iguodala played a similar role during the season, mentoring some of the team’s younger players, including rookie Jonathan Kuminga.

Slater noted that the Warriors would still have at least one more roster spot to fill even if Iguodala would return. The team has 12 spots filled at the moment, with two left to fill and the likelihood that they would keep the 15th vacant in order to build flexibility for the upcoming season.

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