Grant Cohn: Trading Andre Iguodala would help Warriors maintain their dominance
The Warriors should trade Andre Iguodala on draft night. Trade him for the best draft pick they can get.
They’re a tired team, and he’s a tired player. They essentially played five seasons the past four years, counting their 83 playoff games. They need to make changes right now, just as the Chicago Bulls dynasty did in the mid-1990s.
In a sense, this is about the Bulls. The Warriors want to be in the same conversation as that team, arguably the greatest in modern NBA history. But, the Bulls weren’t just one team. They were two, with the same core players — Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
The first version of the Bulls, which won three consecutive NBA championships from 1991 to 1993, featured John Paxson, Bill Cartwright, Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, Scott Williams and Stacey King.
The second version of the Bulls, which won three consecutive championships from 1996 to 1998, got rid of all those role players and replaced them with Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc, Bill Wennington and Steve Kerr, the current head coach of the Warriors.
The Bulls refueled midstream. That’s what the Warriors should do.
Kerr is the link between those Bulls and these Warriors. He knows great teams must bring in reinforcements to stay at the top. He was a reinforcement in Chicago.
If the Warriors keep the same group together next season, they probably will win fewer than 58 games — their win total last season. Owner Joe Lacob seems to understand this.
“It is an accumulation of years,” he said Monday on 95.7 The Game. “It’s just a lot to go through for the majority of the players on the team. And I think it’s hard to maintain. It’s tough, and next year is going to be tougher. It’s actually going to be tougher.
“We’re going to have more competition. I don’t know if you guys realize that, but the Celtics are coming, man. The 76ers are coming. Houston probably is going to be really good. We’ll see what other teams, the Lakers, do in free agency. The competition is going to be tougher. And they’re figuring us out, too, how we play. So, we’ve got to do some things differently.”
Lacob sounded concerned, more concerned than you’d expect an owner to sound after winning three titles in four seasons. “Being down 11 in Houston, I was definitely very worried in Game 7 at halftime,” he said. “That was the scariest moment I have had in the eight years I have been in this position as the primary owner of this team. We have not been in that situation — Game 7 on the road against a very good team, albeit without Chris Paul.”
If Paul hadn’t pulled his hamstring in Game 6, there’s a chance the Warriors would have lost that series against Houston. And they would have lost because of Iguodala. He wasn’t with the Warriors when they needed him most. He could have sunk the season. Lacob knows it. You know it. We all know it.
In Game 2 against the Rockets, Iguodala banged knees with James Harden, suffered a bone bruise, missed the rest of the series and the first two games of the Finals. Missed more than two weeks. I am not in a position to judge a player’s injury, but two weeks seems a long time to sit out in the playoffs with a bone bruise.