It's probably hard to imagine turning down close to $20 million in guaranteed money but Denver Nuggets swingman Andre Iguodala told Fox Sports Florida he's planning on opting out of the final year of his deal this summer, forgoing a guaranteed $16 million to seek a long term deal. Iguodala was quick to note that opting out of his contract a year early has nothing to do with his time spent so far with the Nuggets.
“You got to weigh options. Security-wise, a player would opt out, especially with the type of season we’ve had as a team. Teams know what I can bring to them, and I know (the Nuggets) know what I can bring to a team here."
It may seem like a shock to see a guy walk away from that much money, but Iguodala has picked possibly the best possible time to look for a long term deal. First he's the second of third best player on one of the five or six best teams in the league. Second, between his work with Team USA in both 2010 and 2012 and with the 76ers last year rehabilitated his on the court image from "overpaid non-superstar" to "should be a key contributor on a title team." He's become one of the best and possibly the smartest defenders in the league and when he's in the open court he's one of the most exciting players to see run the break. He still can't shoot much, but he's a good rebounder for his position and an excellent passer.
The other reason Iguodala should strike now is because there's plenty of teams with free agent money to burn and not a lot of top flight free agents available. It wouldn't be a good idea for a bad team to overpay for him but it would be a great idea for a title contender or a team trying to become a title contender to correctly pay him. Give him four years and somewhere between $10-12 million a year. Atlanta could use a wing to guard LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Houston desperately needs a wing defender. Would Dallas be interested in him? And certainly things have worked well for him in Denver, so why leave if they're willing to pay to keep him? Point is Andre Iguodala is going to get paid and he should, because on the right team he can help you win a championship.