Sunday, October 2, 2022

Warriors Coach reveals key details on Andre Iguodala’s retirement plan

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The Golden State Warriors are still patiently waiting to hear if Andre Iguodala decides to return for another season or retire, but they may be getting a good sign about his future.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala will have a roster spot saved if he decides to return for his 19th season in the NBA. Despite being plagued by a series of injuries last season and limited to 31 regular-season games, Iguodala played an important role as a mentor to younger players and a strong defensive wing when he was healthy.

It’s not yet clear exactly when Iguodala will announce his decision, but Kerr shared some insights that could point to a return.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the start of training camp on September 24, Kerr said he still doesn’t know if Iguodala will return. But the Warriors coach shared that Iguodala has close ties with the team and is still working in the team’s set-up.

“I’m just hopeful,” Kerr said. “Beyond that, I really don’t know what Andre is going to do. He’s been in here training and getting training staff to work with him and look at him and I think he’s getting a sense of what he wants to do and we told him from the start take it like that much time as you want.

“So he’s taking his time and that’s fine. So we’ll see.”

As Anthony Slater of The Athletic reported that Iguodala has given some details on when he will make his decision and said he will publicly announce it to the world on his podcast.

“Andre Iguodala says he will announce his decision to return or resign at some point on his podcast,” Slater tweeted Sept. 10. “But no decision yet. Warriors open training camp in two weeks tomorrow.”

While there could be signs of Iguodala returning for another season, the Warriors are making roster plans for when he retires. An NBA executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that the team had other players in mind to bring to training camp.

“As I understand it, they’ve told a small handful of guys to be ready for camp if Iggy decides not to come back,” the manager said. “But if you talk to people on the team, I don’t think anyone really knows, but the bet would be that he’s retiring. That’s what most people say, but who knows?”

The Warriors have been training with a number of free-agent veterans over the summer, including Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Ben McLemore, Elfrid Payton and Kenneth Faried.

Iguodala’s return could depend on his ability to actually contribute on the floor this season. The NBA executive told Heavy.com’s Deveney that Iguodala doesn’t want to step into the role of a player emeritus like Udonis Haslem with the Miami Heat, where he holds a roster spot but rarely plays.

“If he came back from injury last year and made a big contribution in the playoffs even for a couple of games, maybe that would be different,” the manager said. “But he has a lot of outside interests and as much as he’s a great teacher, he never seemed the type to sit on the bench and not play.”



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