We're obviously excited about this Andre Iguodala deal and for good reason (or at least 12 reasons as Sleepy so nicely described on Friday).
But it's always nice to have some perspective from the other side of things as we start to imagine what this team will look like. And in this case, there were two lingering questions for me during the weekend.
First, what would Denver want out of a sign-and-trade deal? Second, what things should we be wary of about the 29-year-old wing that the Warriors have signed up for the next four years?
Nate Timmons of SBN's Denver Stiffs was kind enough to offer a few of his insights (and bear in mind that these were answered prior to the announcement of a three-way trade agreement between the Warriors, Nuggets, and Utah Jazz being completed).
GSoM: 75% of the GSoM community gave the Warriors' moves an A. Based on what you've seen from Iguodala over the last year and the Warriors in the playoffs, what grade would you give the Warriors' end of this deal?
Nate Timmons: If they were adding Iguodala with Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry in place still I'd give it an A+. In losing out on Jack and Landry, it's still an A move - easily - but the Warriors will obviously need to shore up the bench a bit.
GSoM: While we're very excited about Iguodala, I see over at Denver Stiffs now (and previously) that there were some frustrations with certain aspects of his game, including how well he is(n't) aging. What sort of things should we be wary of even as we're excited about the prospect of having a wing defender (quite possibly the best this franchise has had in the nearly 40 year post-championship era)?
NT: His turnovers were a concern during games. Even on nights where he looked pretty darn good, he'd have some very frustrating turnovers where he'd drive to the foul line and almost just let go of the ball. He also is incredibly unselfish on offense - to the point that he'll pass up good shots, make a difficult pass, and again lead that to a turnover. I think a lot of that could be credited to Iguodala not liking George Karl's free-flow offense. He spoke last season on numerous occasions about trying to find his comfort zone in the offense and trying to find chemistry with his teammates. He will do better with a more structured system.
His free throw shooting is atrocious. He was much better in the playoffs, but still not a good foul shooter. The 57-percent during the season was quite disturbing though. Watching him work on free throws in practice, he had a nice arc, and seemed to hit shots easily. During games he has a much more pronounced arc on those shots and can't seem to find any consistency.
He's still super athletic and will make more than a handful of players during the season that will dazzle the fans and he's an unbelievable defender. You guys will really appreciate his defensive game and how he is able to just bottle guys up and again make some plays that will blow you away.
GSoM: Denver's offseason has also been a source of frustration for fans and media. And now I know there's some debate about the value of a sign-and-trade with the Warriors involving Iguodala. From your perspective, given the Nuggets' negotiating position, what do you think is a best case outcome for them?
NT: Obtaining assets should always be the priority over potentially helping out another team. Could the Nuggets be helping out the Warriors? Yes. Would not making a deal hurt the Nuggets? Yes.
Denver should make the sign-and-trade deal. If it were me, I would have got in on the Warriors and Jazz deal and asked for Brandon Rush and made the Jazz take back Andre Miller. But that's over, I think, so getting back a TPE and maybe some draft considerations could be useful down the road.
But again, Denver can't worry about what a deal might do for the Warriors, they need to do what is best for their own future.
Editor's note: You can see Timmons' response to what the Nuggets actually did over at Denver Stiffs.
GSoM: I know you spend quite a bit of time around the team and know a bit about the players' personal stories. Any fun facts or quirks about Iguodala that we should know about? (I've already been warned that he doesn't like to be called "Iggy").
NT: I heard about the "Iggy" thing to so I made sure never to call him that (even though it's so much easier to type, so I would type it)! Perhaps it's the time he spent in Philadelphia, but Iguodala is a bit hardened when he talks to larger groups of the media. He's an awesome one-on-one guy to talk with or when he's around media folks he knows a little bit. Just a wealth of hoops knowledge and it's fun to pick his brain.
He's a big hamburger fan, so if your fans want to let him know some good spots to eat - he'd appreciate it I bet. I did a Google hangout with him and some other writers and I had a Five-Guys burger with me and ate a bite on the camera when I asked if he'd had lunch yet. Later in the interview we gave him a chance for questions and he asked me if that was a Five-Guys burger that I had with me.
Some other "fun" facts: He's also a horologist, which means he's a watch collector. He's a sharp dresser, he's sponsored by SkullCandy headphones (I talked with him about their headquarters in Park City, Utah where my friend works and where he has visited), and he has quite a bit of ink.
GSoM: What do you make of the Nuggets' offseason thus far, from the firing of Karl to the general inactivity in free agency? Do you see them being able to match their performance of last season or is this looking like a rebuild?
NT: The Karl firing - he's a great man and a knows everything there is about the game and speaks about it well. You guys saw what the Warriors were able to do to the Nuggets in the post-season. We've been seeing that same thing on different levels during seven other playoff series where he was on the bench. It was time for a change. The regular season was nice, but the lack of playoff success lead to the firing.
I think we have a bit of a rebuild on our hands, especially since the Dubs got our best defender and a guy I thought Denver could use to build a "big 3" type thing (I'm more of a team guy, but thought Denver could hold out for an Alpha Dog type guy to pair with Iggy). I'm fine with a re-tooling and I'm excited to see what the future holds in Denver.
If the two teams play in the post-season again, I'll look forward to Denver being the underdog this go-round!