If you’ve watched a Golden State Warriors game this year, then you’ve probably seen a fair amount of Andre Iguodala. It’s just that the fair amount that you’ve seen hasn’t been of him playing basketball.
Iguodala has been a fixture on the Warriors bench this year, rocking memorable fits, celebrating with teammates, and coaching up youngsters. But he’s yet to appear in a game, or name a date when he might return to the court — though he’s mentioned that there’s a target date that he won’t reveal.
But the 19-year NBA veteran took a step towards returning to the court over the past few days. Prior to the Warriors dramatic double-overtime win over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, coach Steve Kerr said that Iguodala had scrimmaged with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Golden State’s G League affiliate.
Andre Iguodala lives on. Scrimmaged with G League Warriors today, per coach Steve Kerr. Still no timetable for his debut this season— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) January 3, 2023
There’s been some talk from Warriors fans about how the team is wasting money by using a roster spot on him if they only intend to use him as a coach. But the plan remains for Iguodala to play, and likely play a sizable role.
Last season taught us a lot: on the one hand, Kerr trusted Iguodala with 19.5 minutes per night. On the other hand, Iguodala’s body only held up to play 31 games.
The Warriors are slow-playing the 2012 All-Star and 2015 Finals MVP for both of those reasons. They almost surely intend to use him in a fairly notable role off the bench, and they want to make sure that if Iguodala can only play 38 games again this year — which is how many he played when you include the playoffs — that those games come in March, April, May, and June, not October, November, December, and January.
If Iguodala is starting to scrimmage now, it very well may be that we see him later this month though, again, the team will be extra careful with him. There’s absolutely no rush to get Iguodala back on the court.
But it will be nice to see him whenever he makes his season debut.