Andre Iguodala Hoping To Stay With Nuggets Long-Term
By Christopher Dempsey
The Denver Post
It’s halfway through the season and it looks like things are crystallizing in Nuggets’ guard Andre Iguodala’s head concerning his opt-out decision at the end of the season.
Though he did not say it specifically it appears he’s leaning toward staying with the Nuggets long term, but here’s how: By opting out of his current contract, which would pay him roughly $16.2 million next season and signing a new, multiyear deal – even if the annual value of the contract comes out to be less than what he’s making now and scheduled to make next season.
“A lot of players have done it where they’ve gave up a large bulk of their contract, say, giving up $16 million to get $60 million,” said Iguodala, who turns 29 years old on Monday. “In the grand scheme of things that makes sense. But if you give up $16 million and you get $20 million (it doesn’t make sense). So it’s all about playing your cards right and seeing where you’re at. At the end of the day winning takes care of everything, so if we win here, then hopefully the organization and myself will come to an agreement and we’ll continue to build on what we have here.”
A player opting out of a lucrative final year isn’t unprecedented. In fact, the Nuggets recently went through just such a scenario when Nene opted out of his following the 2011 season, forgoing a final year worth $12 million. Now, Nene was able to parlay his unrestricted free agent status into getting a contract worth $13 million per year, so it was a net gain for him.
It’s unlikely Iguodala would make more annually than the $16.2 million he’d pass up, but his contract would probably not be anything smaller than Ty Lawson’s contract extension, which starting next season pays him an average of $12 million annually. And the savings of a new contract worth less per year would help the Nuggets, who could be up against the luxury tax threshold next season and would need to find some economic breathing room.
Iguodala’s contract status is one of the season’s biggest storylines for the Nuggets, and it will spill over into the summer. But increasingly it looks like the Nuggets are taking center stage in his mind.
“It’s not as hard as it seems,” Iguodala said. “It’s basically just weighing your options, seeing who has interest in you, or making a guesstimate on who has interest in you or what your value is at the current time. That’s pretty much it.”
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