The Golden State Warriors have agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets, acquiring guard D’Angelo Russell. To make room for the new contract, Golden State has traded former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
It’s unknown exactly how — or if — the trade with Russell connects to the Nets’ signing of Kevin Durant, but it’s possible that it involves a possible $30 million trade exception. Russell will reportedly come to the Warriors on a four-year, $117 million max deal, meaning that the total cost of Golden State’s backcourt — along with Stephen Curry ($40.2m) and the injured Klay Thompson ($32.7m) — would be $100.1 million next season, though only Curry and Russell would be active as Thompson recovers from a left ACL tear. Getting rid of Iguodala — who has one year left on his deal at $17.2 million — helps make the salary numbers work.
The Iguodala trade will also send a 2024 protected first-round pick (protected 1-4), a 2025 pick (protected 1) and a 2026 unprotected pick to Memphis.
Iguodala, a 15-year veteran, has spent the last six seasons with the Warriors, shooting 48.5% from the field and 34.2% from three, but his greatest asset has been his savvy and defensive accumen, his ability to teach young players and get Golden State right on the defensive end.
His plus-minus per 100 possessions over his time with the Warriors is +11.5, and +6.1 in the playoffs. A two-time All-Defensive team selection, Iguodala earned his Finals MVP for defending LeBron James, and he was key in defending James Harden in each of Golden State’s three postseason series with the Houston Rockets. Among players with at lest 27 possessions against Harden this postseason, Iguodala, 35, owned the second-lowest points differential (-19.4).
Russell, a former No. 2 overall pick at one time tapped to take the torch from Kobe Bryant, is an intriguing add for the Warriors. The former Los Angeles Laker was traded to Brooklyn in June of 2017 with Timofey Mozgov in exchange for Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma, the 27th pick in the 2017 draft.
He had his off-court issues in Los Angeles — a video taken on his phone of Nick Young admitting to infidelities leaked on social media — which led to the trade, but since then, he’s matured, and had a breakout season in 2018-19.
This season, he set new career highs in scoring (21.1 PPG), field-goal percentage (43.4), three-point percentage (36.9) and assists (7.0 APG). That strong performance led to his first All-Star selection. The Lakers, now sans Magic Johnson, were reported to be interested in signing the restricted free agent.
He’s previously said he sees similarities between himself and Curry, and now, he’ll play alongside him in Thompson’s stead, until Thompson returns from injury. Then, the three will likely share rotation time.