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The negotiations were thornier than expected, but the successful partnership between Andre Iguodala and the Warriors will continue deeper into this decade.
The highly coveted veteran forward agreed to a three-year deal worth around $48 million with the Warriors late Saturday night, ending a dramatic but ultimately successful first day of free agency for both player and franchise. The agreement was first reported by ESPN and then announced by Iguodala.
"Sources close to Andre Iguodala reporting (I've) agreed to terms to return to the bay.," he tweeted late Saturday night.
Iguodala didn't like the Warriors initial offer, which didn't include a third guaranteed year. At 33, entering his 14th season, he wanted to extend his earning window as long as possible. This is likely the last big contract of his career.
So Iguodala went searching for other offers and leverage on the first day of free agency, meeting with the Spurs, Kings and Rockets, who all came strong, particularly Houston. It forced the Warriors to counter.
Bob Myers and Steve Kerr met with Iguodala on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles, armed with a revamped offer that included that crucial third year, a somewhat risky move from the Warriors, who will have to re-up Klay Thompson in the 2019 offseason and preferred to keep their books as clean as possible that summer.
But Iguodala's importance -- and the growing threat that he'd leave -- proved too much. Ever since he signed back in 2013, Iguodala has proved vital to the Warriors' cause.
In 2014, he accepted a Sixth Man role that slid everyone into more natural, potent spots. In 2015, his defense, playmaking and hot shooting in the Finals helped take down LeBron James and the Cavaliers, capture the Warriors their first title in 40 years and earn Iguodala the Finals MVP.
The past two seasons, Iguodala's role and effectiveness have diminished, particularly this past season with the addition of Kevin Durant. But when needed most -- like this past March, when Durant missed the entire month with an injured knee, or during key moments in the Finals a few weeks back -- Iguodala was always there, uncorking a throwback dunk or producing a needed defensive stop.
The Warriors wanted to keep that steady hand off the bench. To do so, they had to pay. On Saturday, they did and Iguodala accepted.
MINNESOTA SIGNS GIBSON
The Timberwolves reached a two-year, $28 million agreement with the Oklahoma City power forward Taj Gibson Sunday morning.
The deal brings the Wolves a 32-year-old veteran who defends and does all the little things and knows Wolves coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau's system and ways well.
IBAKA JOINS RAPTORS
When Toronto got Serge Ibaka before the trade deadline last season, the Raptors made clear that they had no intentions of letting him walk away this summer in free agency.
And now that's been proven.
Ibaka agreed to terms with the Raptors on a three-year contract with $65 million, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke Sunday on condition of anonymity because the deal cannot be signed until the NBA's offseason moratorium ends on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Ibaka was traded to Toronto from Orlando late last season. He averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games with the Raptors.
Ibaka is one of only 13 players in NBA history to make 100 3-pointers and record 100 blocks in the same season; he did it last season, along with Karl-Anthony Towns, Kristaps Porzingis and Brook Lopez.
He was sent to Toronto by Orlando, in exchange for Terrence Ross and a first-round draft pick -- a big price that would have looked even bigger if the Raptors had lost Ibaka for nothing this summer.
Entering his ninth NBA season, Ibaka has career averages of 12 points and 7.3 rebounds. Ibaka spent his first seven NBA seasons in Oklahoma City, helping the Thunder reach the 2012 NBA Finals against Miami.
ROCKETS, NENE STRIKE ANOTHER DEAL
The Houston Rockets and Nene have a contract -- again.
A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the Rockets agreed to terms with Nene on a three-year deal worth $11 million. It comes one day after an initial agreement fell apart because it violated rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The person requested anonymity Sunday because a contract cannot be signed until Thursday.
Nene initially agreed to a four-year, $15 million deal. But the deal violated a rule for players who will be 38 during the contract and so Nene became a free agent again.
But Nene's interior presence was critical for the Rockets, who have also agreed to terms with P.J. Tucker to add some toughness to a high-scoring roster.