Andre Iguodala said Monday the two-year, $30 million contract extension he signed with the Miami Heat in February was a contingency of his trade from the Memphis Grizzlies.
Iguodala, who didn't play for the Grizzlies after being acquired last July, told Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald he wouldn't have accepted a trade to become a short-term addition somewhere:
"Both sides knew the window we have—my window and the team's window. We all know about when teams want cap space. It's hard to get acclimated with a group of guys in two months. The locker room is a special place. I wanted to be somewhere where I could grow with the guys, a lot of the young talent that I have a good impression of, help them grow, especially Bam [Adebayo], Kendrick Nunn, Tyler [Herro] and Duncan [Robinson].
"I didn't want it to be a two, three month thing. My legs have improved. They're really good. [Before the pandemic], I did a dunk I haven't done in years. The guys saw that and see I still have some spring left and can be a value to this team in the small details ways that get you over the hump."
Miami had cap flexibility for next season and aims to make a major splash in free agency in 2021, when the Heat can either decline the second-year option in Iguodala's contract or use it as an asset in sign-and-trade discussions for a superstar, per Jackson.
The 36-year-old three-time NBA champion was playing a career-low 18.5 minutes per game across 14 appearances for the Heat before play was stopped March 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic. He averaged 4.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 blocks in those games.
Iguodala told Jackson he's had no problem with how head coach Erik Spoelstra used him in the rotation after the deal.
"A few games I felt really good and still had energy left after the game," he said. "Other games, I've been like, 'Whew, that was all I had.' There are nights I have a good rhythm; he noticed that and he leaves me out there."
Iguodala was named NBA Finals MVP in 2015 and earned 2014 NBA All-Defensive First Team honors during his six years with the Golden State Warriors. His only All-Star appearance came in 2012 while a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. He also spent one season with the Denver Nuggets.
He'll join the Heat for the resumption of the 2019-20 season at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Florida. Miami has clinched a playoff berth, sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-24 record heading into the shortened eight-game finish to the regular season.
The team's first game of the restart is slated for Aug. 1 against the Denver Nuggets.