Andre Iguodala (9) of the Golden State Warriors passes the ball to Jonas Jerebko (21) against the Dallas Mavericks during fourth quarter of the game on December 22, 2018 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to S.F. Examiner)

Warriors announce Igudoala trade, will retire his number

Andre Iguodala will have his number retired after helping Golden State to five straight NBA Finals

The Golden State Warriors have officially announced the trade of Andre Iguodala, and in an accompanying statement, owner Joe Lacob said the team intends to retire his No. 9 jersey.

“During the summer of 2013, we went through an extensive free agency process in our efforts to sign Andre Iguodala,” Warriors Co-Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob said in a statement. “At that time, we envisioned him becoming a vital part of a young, up-and-coming team with championship aspirations. As we look back six years later, we actually underestimated what his value would be to our team, both on the court and in the locker room.”

Iguodala, 35, appeared in 413 regular-season games (84 starts) over six seasons with Golden State, averaging 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.08 steals in 26.7 minutes. As part of the core that took the team to five-consecutive NBA Finals, Iguodala averaged 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.17 steals and 29.8 minutes in 104 postseason games (40 starts) with the Warriors, ranking fourth on the team’s all-time playoff games played list.

The 2015 Finals MVP was a key piece of Steve Kerr’s defense, helping guide and instruct players both young and old, and proving to be the team’s best defender against some of the greatest scorers of all time, including LeBron James.

“He’s an incredible defender because he’s got the whole package between the athleticism, the length, but most importantly, the brain,” Kerr said after Iguodala stripped Damian Lillard to seal a Game 2 win in the Western Conference Finals this season. “He just understands his opponent. He understands the spots where the opponent is trying to get to, and quick hands to get a steal like he did on that last play. It was an amazing play against one of the best players in the league.”

After the sign-and-trade that sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, Lacob had said that no Warriors player would wear Durant’s No. 35 jersey as long as he was owner and CEO, but did not say it would be retired. He was less ambiguous about the fade of Iguodala’s No. 9.

“Andre sacrificed for the betterment of our team and, in one of the best stories of this journey, earned NBA Finals MVP honors in 2015,” Lacob said. “He has been absolutely vital to our success during five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and three championships. We thank Andre for all of his contributions and look forward to seeing his number in the rafters at Chase Center.”

In his 15-year career spent in Philadelphia, Denver and Golden State, Iguodala has averaged 12.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals in 33.4 minutes over 1,108 games (779 starts). Originally selected by the 76ers with the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft out of Arizona, Iguodala was acquired by the Warriors in a sign-and-trade, three-team deal with the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz on July 10, 2013.

Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies last week in a salary cap-saving move in exchange for forward Julian Washburn. As part of the trade, Golden State was granted the trade exception, meaning they have a year to trade for players with salaries totaling the $17.2 million Iguodala would have made. Given that the Warriors cannot exceed $139 million in salaries due to a sign-and-trade that got them D’Angelo Russell, they cannot use all of that $17.2 million exception until the end of next season, but they must use it before July 7.

Washburn, 27, appeared in 18 games (three starts) with Memphis last season, averaging 2.2 points and 2.3 rebounds in 14.1 minutes. In 15 games (12 starts) with the G League’s Memphis Hustle, he averaged 13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 33.3 minutes. The 6-foot-7 forward owns career G League averages of 6.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 24.6 minutes in 136 games (61 starts) with Austin and Memphis. Washburn signed a two-way deal with the Grizzlies on January 15, 2019.

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