OK, quick. Give Andre Iguodala $70 million, before he is finished practicing free throws in the Pepsi Center and gets away from the Nuggets forever. Here is how new general manager Tim Connelly can make friends throughout Denver, in three easy steps: 1) Show Iguodala the money, before the 29-year-old swingman figures out the best way to get rich and a championship would be to bolt Colorado and take the place of Manu Ginobili in San Antonio. 2) Make sure Nuggets president Josh Kroenke has asked for a bump in his allowance from dad to fund the transaction for Iguodala. 3) Wait until the contract is signed, then tell Iguodala he will no longer be a starter for the Nuggets. "Every general manager in this league doesn't make a major move without calling his owner. It's a benefit to myself and my organization that my owner played college basketball. My owner is accessible. My owner is not several layers away. It allows us to be more proactive and aggressive, because he understands the business," Connelly said, letting me know he is the GM, but it won't be any problem working side-by-side with Kroenke. "I'm the executive vice president and general manager. It's a long title. Ultimately, all basketball decisions will end with me, and I'll be responsible. But everything will be a collective decision. I'm kind of puzzled by this question of who is responsible. No move in this league is made without ownership approval." The Nuggets cannot afford to let an asset as valuable as Iguodala get away for nothing as a free agent. "I'm very sensitive to how narrow the earning window is for all these NBA players," Connelly told me. "And we want guys to feel good about their contracts, by well-compensating them. I think this organization has had no problem doing that. It has had some big budgets. "For (Iguodala), we can also offer the continuity of staying in the same place, teammates he enjoys, a city he loves and a winning team culture." The Nuggets can be a better team if Iguodala does not start. Iguodala is a fierce defender. But he will never be the best perimeter defender in the NBA, so long as LeBron James laces up the sneakers. Iguodala is versatile enough to move seamlessly from guard to forward, but he is not talented enough to be an all-star with regularity at either position. Iguodala, however, can be the best sixth man in the NBA. By far. No contest. He would be the perfect leader of a second unit, especially on a Denver team with depth as a primary strength. What's more, Iguodala can still earn his pay by playing anywhere from 25 to 35 minutes per game while coming off the bench. He can be the most dominant sixth man in the league since Ginobili was in his prime. Now, Ginobili is Old Yeller. A trusty dog that has seen better days. In fact, if Spurs general manager R.C. Buford listens to his brain rather than his heart, he would offer the $14.1 million salary earned by Ginobili last season as a starting point of negotiations with Iguodala, when the NBA's free-agency period opens.
Show Andre Iguodala the money, then make him the Nuggets' sixth man
Denver Post | Jun 22