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Andre Iguodala didn't seek Warriors return, calls Heat 'perfect spot'

Andre Iguodala didn't seek Warriors return, calls Heat 'perfect spot'

The last time we saw Andre Iguodala on a basketball court, he dropped 22 points in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, as the Toronto Raptors closed out the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

The former Finals MVP was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies as Golden State dealt with the fallout from Kevin Durant’s departure to Brooklyn. After over half a season of simply refusing to report to the Grizzlies, Iguodala was flipped on the eve of the NBA trade deadline to the Miami Heat in a multi-player deal.

Iguodala spoke to the media for the first time as a member of the Heat on Friday, and expressed his excitement at joining a team firmly in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.

"I kind of got excited about basketball again," Iguodala told ESPN. "Playing with [the Warriors], we go to the Finals every year, and the media scrutiny behind every single move -- you get exhausted. You've had a good break, but then you kind of see where the game's trending, you don't know, it's like, 'Where do I fit in?' And it's kind of a blessing in disguise, like this is the perfect spot. I can do a lot of different things here. A lot of different things. It doesn't have to be just defense or just passing. Or just in the corners. It's going to be good.”

There were many rumors throughout the season that Iguodala desired a return to the team he captured three championships with, but the veteran pushed back on the fodder.

“That one just kept popping up, and I don't know where that one got legs,” Iguodala said of potentially returning to the Warriors. “That was interesting, but I think everybody just got kind of thrown off by surprise with this move, which I think sometimes is a blessing in disguise, you don't know what's coming, and then boom the right opportunity comes by, and I think this is the right move."

[RELATED: Kanter laughs at KD's logic in leaving OKC for Warriors]

Miami plays Sunday night in Portland before a date with the Warriors at Chase Center on Monday, the first time Iguodala will be back in front of the Golden State crowd since that NBA Finals defeat.

Given the strong relationships he has maintained with his former teammates and coaches in the Bay Area, it’s hard to imagine Iguodala wouldn’t want to suit up and get at least a few minutes in.

C.J. McCollum calls Andre Iguodala 'legend' for Grizzlies-to-Heat move

C.J. McCollum calls Andre Iguodala 'legend' for Grizzlies-to-Heat move

Andre Iguodala's former teammates on the Memphis Grizzlies weren't big fans of the stunt he pulled in demanding a trade and refusing to play for the team. But after Iguodala reportedly was traded to the Miami Heat on Wednesday -- and then agreed to a two-year, $30 million extension -- players around the league have a far different opinion about his ability to control his own career.

Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum might have put it best.

Iguodala made appearances on certain sports talk TV shows while refusing to play for the Grizzlies, and as someone that wants to work in sports media after his playing career is over, it's no surprise that McCollum supported Iguodala's methods. Of course, Iguodala and the Warriors ended Portland's season in three of the last four years, including a four-game sweep in the Western Conference finals last season.

[RELATED: Why Heat trade means we've seen last of Iguodala on Dubs]

Clearly, McCollum is happy for Iguodala, but perhaps he's pleased the former Finals MVP is headed to the East, as well.

Programming Note: The "2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Thursday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! Our NBA Insiders will analyze all of the news and rumors that could impact the Warriors heading into the Noon deadline. Don’t miss it!

Warriors' hopes for reunion with Andre Iguodala dashed by Heat trade

iguodalawarriorsap.jpg
AP

Warriors' hopes for reunion with Andre Iguodala dashed by Heat trade

The best-laid plans of players and teams often go awry.

Such is the case with Andre Iguodala and the Warriors.

Upon being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies last offseason, Iguodala was adamant that he wouldn't play for them. He wanted to be traded to a contender, and if that didn't happen, he would have been perfectly fine sitting out the entire season. One of the main reasons why: It wasn't exactly a well-kept secret throughout the league that both Iguodala and Golden State shared a mutual desire to be reunited next season.

Welp. That ain't happening.

Iguodala got what he originally wanted Wednesday when the Grizzlies reportedly agreed to trade him to the Miami Heat. Almost simultaneously, Iguodala agreed to a two-year, $30 million contract extension with Miami, with the second year being a team option.

So, to summarize: Iguodala was being paid to sit out, and then he got paid even more to play for another team. Oh, and he's moving from Memphis to Miami.

You can't hate on that swindle job. Bravo, sir.

So, it would appear that Iguodala played his final game with Golden State in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals. By the time that two-year extension with Miami is concluded, he'll be 38 years old, with plenty of career earnings to sustain him for the rest of his life. There's always a possibility that the Heat decline the team option on the second year, but if they do, one wonders what that would say about Iguodala, and how much he would be able to bring to the table for the Warriors in the 2021-22 season.

[RELATED: Report: Dubs holding Burks, GRIII out with trade imminent]

On one hand, it's a shame Iguodala's days of being a Warrior are likely over. On the other, Golden State and its fans can be happy for the former NBA Finals MVP, who now has a chance to win another championship with a very good Miami squad. And they'll have a chance to show their appreciation for him when the Warriors host the Heat at Chase Center on Monday night.

Programming Note: The "2020 NBA Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Thursday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! Our NBA Insiders will analyze all of the news and rumors that could impact the Warriors heading into the Noon deadline. Don’t miss it!