The hunt for Andre Iguodala will likely be one of the most spirited of the 2013 free agency period because there seems to be a strong market for the small forward already in development. The Detroit Pistons, the Sacramento Kings and his Denver Nuggets are all in pursuit of the 29-year-old. SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranked Iguodala as the fourth-best free agent on the market.
The Nuggets seem like an obvious choice, considering he just played for them this past season. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reported that Iguodala has already met with new head coach Brian Shaw and GM Tim Connelly in Los Angeles, as they try to convince him to return on a lucrative multi-year deal.
As noted when Iguodala opted out of the final year of his contract, Denver actually serves as somewhat of an ideal location for Iguodala: he wants to play for a contender where he wouldn't be counted on as a No. 1 scorer. The Nuggets are a young team that just managed to finish third in the Western Conference, but couldn't keep it up in the postseason after injuries. They allowed Iguodala to contribute in the way which fits him best: as an elite defensive talent with the ability to contribute offensively as he pleases, allowing him to finish tied for third on the team with 13.0 points per game and second with 5.4 assists. The reason he opted out was for long-term financial stability rather than lack of fit.
It's not like Iguodala has a huge connection to Denver, however -- he only spent one year there after the Dwight Howard trade -- and they don't have a huge financial advantage on the other teams wooing him. Since Iguodala opted out of his $16.1 million deal for next year, the Nuggets have $19 million to spend. The 29-year-old might not be demanding that much as he looks for a long-term deal, but either way the new brain trust in Denver has a bit of convincing to do.
Next up are the Sacramento Kings. Wojnarowski reports Iguodala has already met with new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, new GM Pete D'Alessandro and new coach Mike Malone. Sacramento is in a bit of an interesting situation: the Pelicans were initially believed to be key suitors of Iguodala's, as they set out to pair him with new acquisition and former teammate Jrue Holiday, but their financial flexibility will take a hit if they sign Tyreke Evans to a 4-year, $44 million offer sheet as reported. Sacramento could still match that deal, but that would take them out of the running for Iguodala.
Essentially, one team will have Tyreke Evans and won't have the cap to sign Iguodala, but the other will be forcing him into a leading scorer role that he's said he isn't interested in.
Last but not least are the Detroit Pistons, as Iguodala is set to meet with GM Joe Dumars. The Pistons have the cap space to sign Iguodala and now we know they also have the desire. Detroit's dealing with Josh Smith as well, however, and won't be able to bring in both.