OAKLAND – Thursday afternoon in the Warriors' practice facility, Bob Myers, the best general manager in the Bay Area, introduced his signature acquisition – Andre Iguodala.
Myers and Iguodala wore suits and ties and they smiled. Iguodala wore a blue vest and gray socks that matched his gray shirt. He was smart and thoughtful and funny and eloquent and mature. He was presidential. He answered questions for an hour with Myers. Their press conference felt like a town-hall meeting.
Myers campaigned for Iguodala: "He is the missing piece of the puzzle for this team. We've got a lot of players who can shoot the ball, catch the ball, two or three-dribble guys, but [Iguodala] can finish at the rim – he's second only to LeBron James as far as finishing-around-the-basket percentage – and he's a high-assist guy for a wing player. We're going to play him at the backup point. He's going to have room to create because of the space our shooters create. Defensively, he's arguably one of the best 10 defenders in the NBA."
Iguodala campaigned for his teammates: "Steph Curry is like the second coming of Jesus Christ. Klay Thompson, from guarding him, I know how lethally he can shoot the ball and spread the floor. The two smartest bigs in the league are David Lee and Andrew Bogut. And then Harrison Barnes, he's going to be a great talent in this league for 10-plus years."
And finally, Iguodala campaigned for himself: "My game kind of fits my personality. I kind of have a dry humor. One of my favorite shows is 'Curb Your Enthusiasm.' I like shows that sneak up on you with the humor. Same thing with my game. It may not show up on the stat sheet, but if you watch the game you'll see my impact. Distributing to our great shooters, I should have a lot of 12-11-11 nights (points, rebounds and assists). And I can play defense in my sleep. We're going to get stops in the last five minutes of games when it's most important."
He has my vote.
Trading for Iguodala is one of the best trades the Warriors have made in decades. With him, the Warriors can compete with any team in the Western Conference.
Iguodala essentially will replace Jarrett Jack as the Warriors' point guard during crunch time. Mark Jackson wisely moves Curry, the starting point guard, to shooting guard when the game is on the line. Curry is careless with the ball – he turned it over 3.3 times per game in the playoffs – and he's a better shooter than playmaker. So Jackson trusted Jack to handle the ball during important possessions.
But Jack turned over the ball 3.2 times per game in the playoffs. He was just as careless as Curry.
Iguodala turned the ball over 2.8 times per game in the playoffs. He's a more responsible ball-handler than Curry and Jack.
But Iguodala's biggest impact for the Warriors will be on defense.
He played for the 76ers two seasons ago, and that season the 76ers had the third-best defense in the NBA. Then they traded Iguodala to the Nuggets and their defense fell to 15th. On the other hand, the Nuggets' defense improved from 20th to 11th after they got Iguodala.