Grant Cohn: Trading Andre Iguodala would help Warriors maintain their dominance

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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.

Klay Thompson suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Finals and missed zero games. Stephen Curry played for weeks during the playoffs with an injured knee. For whatever reason, Iguodala did not play through his injury.

He is a problem for the Warriors. Iguodala will turn 35 in January, and he doesn’t give them much anymore before the playoffs. Last season, he averaged 6.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists while shooting just 28.2 percent on 3s during the regular season.

He conserves his body for the playoffs, so hopefully he’s healthy for the games that matter. But, he still gets injured.

The Warriors could live with an aging Iguodala if the rest of their players were young, fresh and energetic, but they’re not anymore. “Our key players are in their prime, 28 to 30, as you know,” Lacob said. He was talking about Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Not Iguodala. He’s not a key player.

The core four are getting too old to play hard every night all season. Last season, they paced themselves for the first time. They need younger players.

The Warriors have outgrown Iguodala. His first few years on the team, he brought experience and professionalism to a young team that needed to learn how to win in the playoffs.

They learned. They don’t need Iguodala anymore.

Other teams do, though. Like the 76ers. Their tremendous collection of young talent choked in the playoffs last season. Iguodala would be perfect for them.

The 76ers own the 10th pick in Thursday’s draft. The Warriors could trade Iguodala, Jordan Bell and the 28th pick to Philly for wingman Robert Covington and pick No. 10, or something along those lines.

With the 10th pick, the Warriors could draft their starting center for the next 15 years, form a team that wins at least three more NBA championships and replace the Bulls as the greatest team ever.

Thanks for everything, Andre, and have a good life.

Grant Cohn covers Bay Area sports for The Press Democrat and in Santa Rosa. You can reach him at

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