(UPDATE LOWER DOWN)
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Sacramento Kings have emerged as the frontrunners for coveted wing Andre Igoudala. Multiple sources report that the Kings have offered the versatile swingman an estimated $56 million over four years, hot on the heels of the New Orleans Pelicans making their own aggressive offer on Tyreke Evans, once thought to be a pillar of Sacramento’s young core. It seems that the Kings would be more than willing to part with Evans to make room for the far more – and successful Igoudala and they should be, as this signing would signify some true changes in Sacramento, putting a stamp of legitimacy on new general manager Pete D’Alessandro and the new ownership.
Denver would no doubt love to retrain Igoudala’s services, as he became an atypical glue-superstar and the first among equals on an exciting, fast, deep, and talented Nuggets squad. The Nuggets reportedly offered a 5 year deal worth less than $56 million and sources indicate the Kings now hold the cards, strange as that seems for a team so used to woeful hamfisted roster moves and management stumbles. Igoduala averaged 13 points, five assists, and five rebound last year with the Nuggets.
Just a few hours ago the Sacramento Kings were by all accounts closing in on a deal with swingman Andre Igoudala. By any objective measure this would have been a serious triumph for Sacramento, just by virtue of a NBA All-Star (one who has repeatedly stated that winning a championship is his foremost goal in choosing a team) wiling to give his tacit stamp of approval on the state of their franchise.
But a lot can change very quickly in the dog eat dog world of NBA Free Agency, and it is now being reported that the Kings have rescinded the offer because Igoudala was not ready to finish exploring his options. This may not matter in the long run to his deserved pay day, but if the Sacramento offer remains the highest he’ll receive he may end of rueing his habit of taking more than a few hours to make gigantic life decisions. It does seem likely that he will take a pay cut, but if he’s on a team likely to contend for a title I’m sure he will deal with that. As it is, it seems difficult to believe that Iggy wants to waste his prime in Detroit or Sacramento, re-upping with Denver might be the best bet despite the flameout in the playoffs.
From Sacramento’s end they can take solace in the fact that they may have avoided a precipitous downward spiral of Igoudala’s athleticism as well as a contract that may well have looked very bad within a year if the addition did nothing to take the team to the next level (though let’s face it, they could hardly get worse). There is also the possibility of him and DeMarcus Cousins getting into a fist fight, so let’s call it a wash. Nobody won, nobody lost, everyone just refused to play.