At some point around noon yesterday, the signal-to-noise ratio about Dwight Howard on Twitter got to a point where I didn't even care to keep track any longer.
There was pretty much one thing that seemed consistent, if not officially set in stone (because he didn't schedule a TV show?), in every report about Howard this week: that he'd be announcing his decision on Friday. When that fell apart and it became "sometime this weekend", I just threw up my hands and got ready to move on.
Dwight, I'll be with Homer's Brain. http://t.co/PrlDhNU3qI— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 6, 2013
I think I got to this point before DA.
As I went out to get lunch, Andy emailed to mention that the rumors linking the Golden State Warriors to Andre Iguodala were heating up. Having seen reports of the Warriors' interest in using the salary cap room gained from trading away their larger contracts, I responded as follows:
"I'm actually formulating something quick on Iggy right now. I'm sort of hoping for Beans/RJeff to be moved regardless."
Eight minutes later, Andy wrote, "Might be time to get that post up....."
This Iguodala thing had sort of been hovering in the background for the Warriors all week but the anecdote serves as one way to understand how exhilarating yesterday's chain of events was as a long-time Warriors fan: in the course of a week, the Warriors went from being lauded for making it into these discussions about Howard and Iguodala to emerging as a front-runner for Howard to pulling off a trade of two paper weight contracts that allowed them to sign the best perimeter defender in the league last season.
This whole ordeal is no longer just some symbol that the Warriors are earning respect; they ultimately moved from a playoff team to potentially elite (health being a looming limitation) next season with very, very little associated risk. We might not ever actually know how the negotiations with Howard's camp actually went or when exactly they decided to go ahead with making these trades as a means to go after Iguodala instead (which is why I agreed with Andy's point yesterday that Myers never actually went all-out in his pursuit of Howard).
To say I'm ecstatic about this seems to understate the full depth of emotion here - this makes a lifetime of suffering through idiotic or, perhaps even more offensive, plain cheap Warriors moves seem worth it.
Anyway, here's a quick roundup of what happened and what people were saying about it for those that weren't following every twist and turn in real time yesterday.
The Warriors did give up a lot in the deal with the Utah Jazz: Reality is this: the Warriors were never going to pull off a deal like the one they made with the Jazz without giving up something. And if you're looking for the risk in this deal, it lies in giving up draft picks and the opportunity to get more young talent that way.
|Warriors receive:||Utah receives|
|Kevin Murphy||Andris Biedrins|
|Mad trade exception $$$||Richard Jefferson|
|2014 1st rounder|
|2016 1st rounder|
|Three 2nd rounders|
A brief summary of the Jazz-Warriors trade.
Post-D12, happy GSt source:"Gave up little & added immensely. Have hugely fixed salary structure with huge trade exceptions going forward."— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 5, 2013
As happy as we are about removing Biedrins and Jefferson from the Warriors' salary cap, Amar at SB Nation's SLC Dunk also notes that this deal makes the Jazz "...super flexible. What also helps is that we get some picks back." They probably correctly made the calculation that this is not their time and have begun laying the groundwork for the future with cap room and draft picks, albeit likely late draft picks if things play out as Warriors fans imagine.
Iguodala is the type of player you can easily root for, on the court and off: From a purely emotional perspective, I'm almost happier that the Warriors went in this direction instead of landing Howard despite my rational basketball mind telling me to feel at least some disappointment. Don't get me wrong: Howard is obviously one of the most dominant big men of our time and can undoubtedly be a foundational piece for any defense. But he also comes with concerns, that ended up manifesting in his prolonged decision-making process yesterday.
Iguodala, on the other hand, is someone who is just much easier to root for as a hard-nosed, defensive-minded, team-oriented player, as articulated well by Adam Lauridsen:
From a locker-room perspective, Iggy is a player who has already demonstrated his willingness to forgo individual stats in the interest of the team. The Warriors had such good chemistry last year, it’s dangerous to swap in major new pieces. But if anyone will fit, it’ll be Iguodala — particularly given his existing relationship with Stephen Curry. The new addition also values winning. When many of the Nuggets were laughing off their first round loss to the Warriors, Iguodala was somber and frustrated. He joined the Warriors over the Nuggets and the Kings because he believed the team gives him the best opportunity to go deep in the playoffs.
I know it might strike some as weird, but at some level as a fan, having a individuals you can root for on your team is as good if not better than rooting for a collection of guys who you root for in spite of their baggage. And in the long-run, those latter teams don't usually win championships anyway.
Andre Iguodala wants to be in the Bay, presumably not just because he can get paid: I mean, isn't it great to know that the Warriors have become a destination rather than a last resort? As Marcus Thompson reported yesterday, Iguodala has had his eyes on the Warriors for a couple of years now. Again, this is not just some abstract symbol of something: Iguodala adds something the team didn't have before (like, in forever), gives this team a number of lineup options, and had the humility to realize what type of unit he'd have the best chance of success in.
Warriors had to renounce Jarrett Jack to make the deal happen: In order to make yesterday's deals happen, the Warriors had to let go of Jarrett Jack's Bird rights, as described by Thompson: "Golden State had the Bird rights to Jack, which meant they could sign him to a new contract despite being over the cap. But to get under the cap, the Warriors had to waive that right and now Golden State can't afford Jack or Landry."
For those concerned about what losing Jack means to the team, I'd actually suggest that it just adds to the brilliance of going after Iguodala: he can help with, though perhaps not entirely solve, the team's ball handling needs. And for whatever the Warriors lost on the offensive end with Jack's ball handling efficiency, they gain (in spades) on the defensive end (davidgsw's fan post is a good read for more on that).
Houston looking to add Josh Smith: We knew that Smith was somehow tied to Dwight Howard, though there was some inconsistency as to whether he was Plan B or Play A.2. Now that domino is teetering as Houston is looking to him in to pair with Howard.
Howard already making waves in Houston: We'll skip Howard's indecision at the last minute because if someone was dangling millions of dollars in your face to play an extra year of basketball, you'd probably spend some time mulling it over first two. But the drama that seems to follow Howard around has already found its way to Houston as current center Omer Asik has already said he wants out. Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don't Lie has already described all that this deal means for Houston, so head over there to read that. I'll just say I'm happy we don't have that kind of issue to mull over.
Were the Orlando Magic actually the winner in last year's Indecision, Part I: The dominant thinking about the Magic's trade of Howard last season was that they could've done better or, at worst, got fleeced. But Evan Dunlap at SBN's Orlando Pinstriped Post lays out the argument for the exact opposite: that the Magic actually won that deal, with Iguodala leaving the Denver Nuggets for Golden State as part of that reasoning. Of course hindsight is 20/20 - and in fact, the Jazz might even end up the "winners" of their trade with the Warriors depending on how they use that cap room and those draft picks - but right now, it seems like, "...Orlando handily won the four-team trade..." as Dunlap put it.
As usual, consider this your open thread and feel free to add any links to further developments or things I missed in the comments. If you have a lengthier comment to make on the whole thing, definitely write up a fan post to share with the community.
For more on the Warriors' now ceased pursuit of Howard, check out our storystream on that. To check out GSoM reaction to the Iguodala, check out our storystream on him from the point he opted out of his contract with Denver.