Thompson Excited About Iguodala, Warriors
The Golden State Warriors made the leap from lottery team to playoff upstart last season. Now, after an aggressive offseason in which the franchise acquired Andre Iguodala, the Warriors may be able to make another jump.
“We’ve already got great shooters, so Andre brings everything else we don’t do well,” said Klay Thompson over the weekend at Steve Nash’s soccer Showdown for charity. “He’s one of the best defenders in the NBA. He’s a great passer and a great ball handler. It should make us that much better of a team — any time you add an All-Star.”
Iguodala was an All-Star in 2012, his final season with the Philadelphia 76ers before joining the Denver Nuggets last summer as part of the four-team Dwight Howard blockbuster trade.
Last week, the Warriors gave up four draft picks (including two first-rounders) both to acquire Iguodala and dump the contracts of Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson.
The team also added Marreese Speights and Toney Douglas to replace the departed Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack. Veteran Jermaine O’Neal is expected to sign on as well.
Golden State was one of the brightest surprises of the 2013 playoffs, beating the Nuggets (and Iguodala) in six games to advance to the second round.
“We got lucky,” said Thompson. “It was a favorable matchup for us with the Nuggets. We all played well at the right time. Jarrett Jack came up big. Steph [Curry] was amazing in the playoffs. Harrison [Barnes] grew up. It was a lot of fun.”
The San Antonio Spurs would eventually knock out the Warriors in six games, but not without a scare. Golden State’s season would come to an end after a year of tremendous growth.
“I wasn’t that shocked, just because I knew we had the talent,” said Thompson of his team’s success. “I wasn’t surprised.”
To follow up last year’s run, the Warriors will need to stay healthy — especially Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Festus Ezeli (out long term with a knee injury) and Curry, who has a history of ankle problems.
Iguodala, who will make $48 million over four years with the Warriors, can be a high-level role player on a playoff team. The Warriors don’t need him to be their leading scorer, which better suits his game.
Golden State may be among the best teams in the Western Conference — right along with the Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and Spurs.
Still, the franchise needs to prove that last year was anything but a fluke — and they will if they can avoid the injury bug.