- Editor’s note: Reporter Kendra Andrews will look at the players on the Warriors’ roster that will make or break their return to championship contention.
At the top of the Warriors' offseason to-do list was finding a veteran player to bring in to help with on-court operations and off-court leadership.
Golden State not only found someone to do that, but found a player who already was familiar with its systems and play schemes and had the trust and respect of the coaches and star players: Andre Iguodala.
Iguodala's return to the Bay Area was welcomed by the organization and fanbase alike, but there still are some questions about who the vet is now and what he means to the franchise three years after his first stint with the Warriors.
How much will Iguodala -- once a swiss-army knife for Golden State -- be able to contribute on the court? Or will his impact be more as a player-coach?
Technically those are two questions, but they work together hand-in-hand.
Golden State Warriors
During Iguodala's first tenure with the Warriors, he was the team's secret weapon. That's what earned him the NBA Finals MVP trophy in 2015. But he's not the same player he was then -- take his 38.3 field goal percentage and 65.8 free throw percentage last season as proof.
Those numbers -- in addition to the fact that Iguodala has lost some of his explosive athleticism -- suggest that Iguodala might be relied more on as a voice in the locker room and mentor to younger players, rather than someone who would have an impact on the court.
But following the Warriors' first scrimmage during training camp on Saturday, head coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala was someone who stood out.
"Andre was just really brilliant in the scrimmage," Kerr said. "It’s so great to have him back for so many reasons, but he really stood out."
For the Warriors to contend ...
One of the many reasons it's good to have Iguodala back is his IQ. His ability to read defenses and act as a point guard or floor general is exactly what the Warriors need in a veteran player.
If Iguodala's body can take the load, having him as a key part of the rotation will beef up the Warriors' depth immensely.
With Klay Thompson still out, Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody extremely inexperienced, and the Warriors' depth at the one lacking, the Warriors could lean on Iguodala to be both part of their wing rotation and a backup point guard.
Kerr already has said they plan on resting Iguodala consistently throughout the regular season, but that will be well worth it come playoffs. Between Damion Lee, Jordan Poole, Otto Porter Jr. and the two rookies, the Warriors have enough bodies to not overwork Iguodala. However, his veteran experience -- particularly in the postseason -- is a weapon the Warriors will want to utilize.
Getting the most out of Iguodala on the court, while still having him as a teacher, mentor and locker room voice will be the best of both worlds for the Warriors. It's what they wanted when they acquired him over the summer.
The voice Iguodala has is a given. It's just about seeing how much they can squeeze out of him as a player.