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Andre Iguodala not expected to play on opening night

The longtime Warrior will make his debut at a later date as he prepares for his final NBA season.

Washington Wizards v Golden State Warriors - NBA Japan Games Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are entering the final stages of the preseason as they prepare for next week’s opening night matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. In the meantime, several news items regarding the roster should be released in the days leading up to the game.

One such news item was announced before Tuesday night’s preseason win against the Portland Trail Blazers. According to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area, head coach Steve Kerr told reporters that forward Andre Iguodala will not be ready to play on opening night.

Iguodala – who officially re-signed with Golden State a couple of days into the team’s training camp – has yet to appear in any preseason games as well as any practice scrimmages while he works his way back into game shape.

During the offseason, the Warriors promised Iguodala a spot on the roster as he contemplated between retirement and a return for one more season. His decision was not an easy one as he reportedly chose retirement until a “last minute” effort by the Warriors convinced him to come back to the team.

When healthy, Iguodala is still capable of providing useful minutes off the bench. Last season, he averaged 19.5 minutes per game in 31 regular season games. Although he is nothing like his prime self, his vast basketball IQ makes him the perfect veteran presence on the court. This is especially important considering that a lot of the Warriors’ roster is made up of players with less than five years of experience in the league — a big contrast to Iguodala who is entering his 19th NBA season.

The Warriors’ young core is expected to take on more responsibility this season. Even if he is not on the court, having a veteran like Iguodala in the locker-room should prove to be an invaluable piece for a team looking to make another championship run.

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