With Andre Iguodala opting out of the final year of his contract and a relative dearth of suitors with cap space, it's within the realm of possibility that Iguodala could be wearing a Pistons uniform next season. Mike Payne wrote a well-...
With Andre Iguodala opting out of the final year of his contract and a relative dearth of suitors with cap space, it's within the realm of possibility that Iguodala could be wearing a Pistons uniform next season. Mike Payne wrote a well-worded, reasonably argued piece on why Detroit shouldn't pursue him, but I'm still not convinced. Iguodala's versatility, defensive impact, and value as a tradeable asset -- as well as a few lesser factors -- would make him a great piece to help Detroit rebuild.
Iguodala's Versatility Fits Several of Detroit's Needs
Iguodala was -- by many metrics -- Denver's most important and effective player, despite not playing at his most effective position for most of the season. The Nuggets, because of Danilo Gallinari's value and a relative lack of options, were forced to play Iguodala at shooting guard for most of the season, rather than at his natural position. After Gallinari went down with an ACL injury, and Iguodala was shifted back to the three, he had arguably his best stretch of the entire season. In the six games after Gallinari went down -- a small sample size, admittedly -- Iguodala averaged 18 points, 7.5 boards, and 8.5 assists on 54/41.7/56.5 shooting splits.
MFMP: Pass on Iggy
Previously: Mike Payne disagrees, saying the Pistons should avoid Andre Iguodala at any cost.
Conveniently, the Pistons' two biggest holes right now are at small forward and shooting guard. Iguodala would fill a gaping need at the three, which would be an absolutely massive upgrade over last year's aged Tayshaun Prince/Kyle Singler combo. He'd limit the amount of minutes Detroit would have to play Rodney Stuckey, and provide a reliable alternative to the unproven (if talented) Kim English, who would likely be forced into the rotation.
One intriguing lineup possibility, in particular, stands out with Iggy hypothetically in the fold. Playing him and Brandon Knight together -- with Knight at point guard and Iguodala at either the two or three -- would allow Knight to play off ball offensively with Iguodala running the offense, while also allowing Knight to defend point guards. The defensive potential of that type of lineup (especially with, say, Victor Oladipo or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the two and Andre Drummond protecting the rim) is enormous, and inserting a stretch four into the mix could make things even more devastating.
Iguodala is the NBA's Best Perimeter Defender
Iguodala turned the Denver Nuggets from a below-average defensive team into an above-average-to-good one in one season. The Nuggets finished the season just outside the top 10 in defensive efficiency -- as "just outside" as you can be, since they ended ranked 11th. When Iguodala saw the court, they allowed over four fewer points per hundred possessions, while their fifth ranked offense didn't take a hit (and was actually just under a point better with him on the court).
Since the league's rule changes on hand-checking, impact perimeter defenders have become something of a rarity and, as such, a valuable commodity. Iguodala is the guy when it comes to perimeter defense. He allowed an absolutely astonishing 0.53 points per possession as an isolation defender last season -- better than LeBron James, Paul George, Tony Allen, Avery Bradley, Luol Deng, and Kawhi Leonard, just to name a few -- despite consistently guarding the opposing team's best offensive players.
Pairing Iguodala's defensive acumen with Andre Drummond's absurd quickness and rim-protection has absolutely explosive potential. Drummond is much quicker than Kosta Koufos, and already has a much higher basketball IQ than JaVale McGee -- the two guys protecting the rim for Iguodala in Denver -- and his defensive potential is almost limitless. The Pistons could go from a bottom-third defensive team to a top ten one almost overnight.
This is Not Another Ben Gordon/Charlie Villanueva Situation
It's tempting to draw comparisons between this type of signing and Detroit's d