Early on in free agency it was reported that one of the early calls the Los Angeles Lakers made was to Golden State Warriors veteran Andre Iguodala. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP was on the market after not being able to agree to a deal with the Warriors before free agency began.
The likelihood of landing Iguodala was slim, but the Lakers had great connections to him as head coach Luke Walton was a former assistant with the Warriors and teammate of Iguodala’s at the University of Arizona, and GM Rob Pelinka was Iguodala’s agent before accepting the job with the Lakers.
As it turns out the Lakers were the first team to contact him just minutes after free agency began.
According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Lakers offered Iguodala a massive one-year contract to come to Los Angeles:
“Los Angeles had significant cap space and a desperate need for veteran leadership to help guide its young core, including Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram. The call lasted about 20 minutes, sources said, but the Lakers were optimistic and offered a one-year deal in the $20 million-plus range.”
The Lakers offering only one-year deals was par for the course this summer as the franchise was intent on maintaining salary cap space for 2018 when the likes of LeBron James, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, and DeMarcus Cousins will all be on the market.
Iguodala fit a need for the Lakers and with the front office having such great connections to him, it makes sense that they would offer him a huge contract in hopes of getting him to agree. Of course, Iguodala was looking for a long-term commitment so while the Lakers could give him the money he wanted, they couldn’t give him the security.
Everything ultimately worked out for both sides. Iguodala remained in Golden State on a three-year, $48 million contract while the Lakers eventually landed Kentavious Caldwell-Pope on a similar contract to what they offered Iguodala. In the end, everyone got what they were looking for.