The Golden State Warriors made a big splash Friday afternoon by signing free agent Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million deal. The contract agreement came just after the Warriors cleared $24 million in salary cap room by shipping the expiring contracts of Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz.
The Warriors had been working hard over the past few days to clear cap space, either for Iguodala or in the event Dwight Howard chose to play for them. To do so the team had to dump Jefferson and Biedrins who will make $11 million and $9 million respectively in 2013-14.
Iguodala was considered by most to be the third-best NBA free agent available this summer behind Howard and Chris Paul. The 29-year-old averaged 13.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 34.4 minutes per game with the Denver Nuggets last season.
In Iguodala the Warriors get a tenacious perimeter defender who will bring toughness and professionalism to the organization. Biedrins and Jefferson both had bloated deals that the team wanted to get rid of anyway and reports suggest Golden State had to include two first-round draft picks (2014 and 2017) to get the Jazz to take them. Rush was just a throw-in to make the contract math work for the Warriors.
Last season Jefferson averaged 3.1 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.6 assists and 10.1 minutes in 56 games, while Biedrins averaged 0.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 9.2 minutes in 53 games.
Iguodala was offered a four-year, $52 million deal by the Nuggets in an attempt to keep him in Denver, but he was apparently ready to move on.