OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have agreed with one coveted free agent and could still be chasing another.
The Warriors reached an agreement with swingman Andre Iguodala on a $48 million, four-year deal Friday, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because NBA rules prevent confirmation of moves until July 10. One said the Warriors cleared more than $24 million in salary cap space by sending Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz along with unspecified draft picks.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported the deal, said the Warriors were only taking back Kevin Murphy and his non-guaranteed $788,000 deal for next season.
The complicated moves give the rejuvenated franchise, fresh off an appearance in the second round of the playoffs and with a stockpile of promising young talent, a potent scorer and perimeter defender to team with point guard Stephen Curry. And, perhaps, another piece for prized free agent center Dwight Howard to consider.
Iguodala averaged 13 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds last season for the Denver Nuggets, who lost in six games to the Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs. He spent his first eight years in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and has averaged 15.1 points on 46 percent shooting for his career.
The biggest boon for Utah might be three veterans with expiring contracts, which will give the Jazz tons of space when a slew of top free agents hit the open market next summer. Jefferson is due about $11 million, Biedrins $9 million and Rush $4 million in the final year of their deals.
While production from Jefferson and Biedrins has declined substantially, Rush was considered Golden State’s top reserve and perimeter defender until he tore a ligament in his left knee in the home opener. Rush has averaged 9.1 points and 3.6 rebounds since he was drafted 13th overall out of Kansas in 2008 by Portland, which immediately traded him to Indiana.
The Warriors had been chasing Iguodala for years, but the right move never came together until now. They also will likely have to renounce their rights to restricted free agents Jarrett Jack and forward Carl Landry to clear space for Iguodala — a price they believe is more than enough for his addition.
And there’s still a shot the Warriors could land this summer’s most prized free agent.
Howard met with the Warriors — along with the Lakers, Rockets, Mavericks and Hawks — earlier this week and is still deciding whether to return to Los Angeles or choose one of his other suitors. But now the only way Golden State could land the seven-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year is a sign-and-trade deal with the Lakers, who would surely want center Andrew Bogut and likely Klay Thompson or Harrison Barnes — or both — in return, if they are even willing to deal at all.
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