NBA

New Heat Forward Iguodala ‘excited about basketball again’

Jacari McRae | February 9th, 2020

After watching the game from afar, Andre Iguodala says he can’t wait to be back on the court. Iguodala, acquired by the Miami Heat ahead of the trade deadline, says he’s finally excited about the game again.

“I kind of got excited about basketball again,” Iguodala told Nick Friedell of ESPN. “Playing with [the Golden State Warriors], we go to the Finals every year, and the media scrutiny behind every single move — you get exhausted.

“You’ve had a good break, but then you kind of see where the game’s trending, you don’t know, it’s like, ‘Where do I fit in?’ And it’s kind of a blessing in disguise, like this is the perfect spot. I can do a lot of different things here. A lot of different things. It doesn’t have to be just defense or just passing. Or just in the corners. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be good. I’m going to do a lot of different things.”

Iguodala was traded to Miami from the Memphis Grizzlies with Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill in exchange for Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow. He also signed a two-year, $30 million dollar extension with the Heat, which reportedly includes a team option for the second year. The team option allows the Heat to keep flexibility for the summer of 2021.

The Heat are also thrilled to have him. Miami’s defense has been trending in the wrong direction. For the past 15 games, the Heat have ranked 21st in the league in defensive rating(113.4). The team’s perimeter and interior defense have been very inconsistent. The addition of Iguodala, an elite defender, should help the Heat improve in that area of the floor though. Most importantly, it’ll give Jimmy Butler a break from guarding the opposing team’s best player.

It’s unknown when Iguodala will make his season debut. He hasn’t played in any game since June and needs time to get back into basketball shape. But when’s he’s ready, we’ll see what kind of impact he has on the team’s defense.

Last season with the Golden State Warriors, Iguodala averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc.

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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