Warriors brief: Is 'Playoff Iguodala' a real thing?

Warriors brief: Is 'Playoff Iguodala' a real thing?

The competition between the Rockets and Warriors this season actually started in the summer, when the bidding war started for Andre Iguodala’s services. In the end the Warriors won the prize, though there are reports that it came down to the wire in the end. The winning bid ended up being a three-year deal for $48 million, which was a lot more than many expected going into the offseason (including the Warriors themselves).

After the deal was signed there was a common consensus that the deal and his value would be worth it come playoff time. Many assumed that he would coast through the regular season until then. However, once the season started, and Iguodala did exactly that, it was many of those same people that turned on their own original assumptions and now assumed the worst. The critics started circling like vultures over Iguodala, deciding he had been overpaid and now did not care anymore, that he aged considerably over one offseason and now was just a high-priced spotty bench player that couldn’t hit a three or defend consistently.

Yet to some fans, media, Warriors executives, players and especially Igudodala himself, it was expected with great confidence he would turn it on come April. He missed six of the last seven games of the regular season, but despite that health scare, he was going to be ready to go come playoffs. And he has not disappointed.

Through the first two games of the first round, Iguodala has gone a combined 5-for-7 from deep, and also added 14 rebounds and nine assists. Last season, it took Iguodala 14 games into the playoffs (he played in 13 of them) to finally hit his fifth shot from long range. So the question is: has Iguodala consistently shown in his tenure as a Warrior that he is a new player come playoffs?

In his first year with the Warriors in the 2013-14 season (Mark Jackson’s last year as the head coach) Iguodala played well in the seven game opening round series that the Warriors lost to the Clippers. He finished the seven games averaging 13.1 points on 52 percent shooting from the field and 53 percent shooting from distance, while most importantly playing his elite level defense.

The following season, under Steve Kerr, Iguodala then made the well documented move to the bench as the Warriors’ sixth man. That was also the postseason were the Warriors famously inserted Iguodala into the starting lineup once they were trailing in the Finals, and he went on to capture Finals MVP with his exceptional performance and defense on LeBron James. In total, he finished those playoffs averaging 10.4 points on 47 percent shooting from the field and 35 percent from deep over 21 playoff games. But it was in the Finals that he made his biggest impact statistically, dropping 16.3 points per game on 52 percent overall shooting and a 40 percent clip from three point range.

Yet again, despite losing in the quite controversial Finals series to the Cavaliers, Iguodala performed admirably in the playoffs during the 2015-16 season. He finished the 24 total games averaging nine points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent from deep. These averages were very similar to his regular season numbers of seven points per game, 48 percent field goal percentage and 35 percent on threes.

Finally we come to last season, which was a bit of an aberration statistically for Iguodala since joining the Warriors. He missed his first 18 shots from deep to start the playoffs, and eventually by game 13 of the postseason, he was hitting a measly 3 of 27 shots from long range. He would go on to finish shooting 19 percent from three point range when all was said and done, but his overall 46 percent shooting from the field and his three-to-one assist to turnover ratio was much needed for a Warriors team that dealt with some injuries early on.

Despite this extensive breakdown of Iguodala’s statistics throughout his Warriors playoff career, his true value is not seen in the traditional box score. Iguodala has proven to be a performer that needs to be critiqued qualitatively rather than quantitatively. His defense, leadership, energy and overall basketball I.Q. have been invaluable to the Warriors during his tenure with the team. He is already off to a hot start this postseason, but you should expect nothing less than Playoff Iguodala.

NBA draft 2019: Updated order after Lakers-Pelicans Anthony Davis trade

NBA draft 2019: Updated order after Lakers-Pelicans Anthony Davis trade

From the moment the 2019 NBA Draft lottery concluded on May 14, it was safe to assume the New Orleans Pelicans would end up acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from the Knicks or the No. 4 overall pick from the Lakers for Anthony Davis.

On Saturday, New Orleans and Los Angeles reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade centering around the All-Star big man. One of the pieces headed to the Pelicans is indeed the No. 4 overall pick.

The trade hasn't officially been completed, and isn't expected to go through until July 6 at the earliest, but we can still update the NBA Draft order knowing that the player taken by the Lakers on Thursday eventually will end up in New Orleans along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.

Also, in case you forgot, the Pelicans own the No. 1 overall pick, which they almsot certainly will use to draft Duke star Zion Williamson.

The Warriors will pick at No. 28 in the first round and No. 58 in the second round. The latest mock drafts have some intriguing options going to Golden State.

As for the Kings, they don't have a first-round pick, but they own the No. 40, No. 47 and No. 60 picks in the second round.

Here's the refreshed 2019 NBA Draft order taking the trade into account:

First round

1. New Orleans
2. Memphis
3. New York
4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers)
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte
13. Miami
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
15. Detroit
16. Orlando
17. Brooklyn
18. Indiana
19. San Antonio
20. Boston (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Utah
24. Philadelphia
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee

Second round

31. Brooklyn (from New York via Philadelphia)
32. Phoenix
33. Philadelphia (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Philadelphia (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)
35. Atlanta
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
37. Dallas
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Philadelphia (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Atlanta (from Charlotte)
45. Detroit
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers
49. San Antonio
50. Indiana
51. Boston
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
53. Utah
54. Philadelphia
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
59. Toronto
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)

NBA rumors: Anthony Davis trade timing could hinder Lakers free agency plans

NBA rumors: Anthony Davis trade timing could hinder Lakers free agency plans

Lakers fans everywhere are excited by the agreed upon Anthony Davis trade with the Pelicans.

Initial reporting on Saturday speculated that Los Angeles would still have between $27 and $32 million in cap space remaining, enough to bring in another marquee player through free agency.

But new information coming out Sunday paints a slightly bleaker picture for the Lakers.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the trade won't be executed until July 6.

Davis also has a 15 percent trade kicker that equates to $4 million. He could waive the trade kicker to help the Lakers, but Wojnarowski doesn't see that happening.

With that in mind, the Lakers' cap space would decrease from just over $27 million to just over $23 million.

But there's more.

By completing the trade on July 6, the player the Lakers draft with the No. 4 overall pick next Thursday wouldn't count towards their salary. But if the Lakers were to tell the Pelicans 'Hey, let's wait until July 30 to execute the trade,' Los Angeles could free up salary-cap space because the No. 4 pick would be on the books.

Wojnarowski believes there's a chance the teams wait until July 30, but for now, he expects the blockbuster trade to go through on July 6.

[RELATED: Lakers need more than Davis]

If that's the case, the Lakers will have less cap space than they had hoped. That would be welcome news for the Warriors and Kings, who are watching their Pacific Division rival retool their roster in a big way.

If the Lakers aren't able to add a marquee free agent alongside Davis and LeBron James, they won't be as daunting.