The Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs, LA Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets and Utah Jazz are among the teams interested in the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, sources tell ESPN.
It is not yet known if Iguodala will take meetings.
A significant number of personnel within NBA circles have come to the conclusion that rather than building a superteam, it’s much more economically feasible and expeditious to just pluck away talent from the Bay Area juggernauts.
Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are under contract for a couple of more seasons, while Iguodala, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant are unrestricted free agents. However, it’s virtually a lock that the latter two aren’t venturing elsewhere. Those individuals make up “The Hamptons 5,” a nickname for the players involved in the recruiting of Durant in the Hamptons last summer.
The open market, according to rival executives, poses a serious threat of stealing the 33-year-old veteran from the defending champs come July 1, the first day of the free-agency period.
The Timberwolves recently acquired All-Star wingman Jimmy Butler to jump-start their acceleration, and if they’re able to procure Iguodala, head coach Tom Thibodeau would have a roster equipped for a deep playoff run.
ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported that the Spurs are attempting to create salary-cap flexibility to pursue Chris Paul this summer, and a combo acquisition of the Clippers’ All-Star point guard and Iguodala has been discussed internally, sources say. The Spurs have made LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green available for trades, according to sources.
Philadelphia, where Iguodala spent his first eight seasons in the league, is in the midst of a rousing youth movement centered on development, fresh culture and identity along with a new organizational objective: winning. The Sixers covet veteran leadership and someone who is still productive on the court, which explains why the team is captivated by a potential reunion with Iguodala, sources say.
Should Utah lose All-Star forward Gordon Hayward, who is expected to decline his player option and garner serious attention from the Boston Celtics, Iguodala is believed to be its top priority to fill that void, sources maintain.
Warriors backup point guard Shaun Livingston is also a free agent and a key piece to the core. It is anticipated that he could command a salary of at least $10 million and up to $12 million per season.
With Durant electing to opt out and take less than his maximum, it allows the Warriors a chance to use their Bird rights to re-sign Iguodala to a deal far more comparable to what he’d likely see on the open market. However, if the two sides can’t reach an agreement, the Warriors can’t use that money to allocate it to an outside player of his stature.
And that’s what makes this free-agent situation so intriguing. It’s potentially addition by subtraction if a suitor succeeds in luring Iguodala away. That would not only improve the team that secures him, but it would also improve the league’s chances of gaining ground on the Warriors.