OAKLAND, Calif. The Golden State Warriors have landed a coveted free agent — just not the one everybody was talking about.
The Warriors reached an agreement with swingman Andre Iguodala on a $48 million, four-year deal Friday, two people with knowledge of the situation said.
The people spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because NBA rules prevent confirmation of moves until July 10. One said the Warriors cleared more than $24 million in salary cap space by sending Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush to the Utah Jazz along with unspecified draft picks.
Yahoo Sports, which first reported the deal, said the Warriors were only taking back Kevin Murphy and his non-guaranteed $788,000 deal for next season.
While the Warriors had hoped to sign Dwight Howard, the team was informed by the seven-time All-Star he would not be signing with them. Instead, Golden State unloaded its expiring contracts for what it believes was the next best player on the market.
The complicated moves give the rejuvenated franchise, fresh off an appearance in the second round of the playoffs and with a stockpile of promising young talent, a potent scorer and perimeter defender to team with point guard Stephen Curry and company. And for Iguodala, it’s a chance to play with another contender.
Iguodala averaged 13 points, 5.4 assists and 5.3 rebounds last season for the Denver Nuggets. He spent his first eight years in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers and has averaged 15.1 points on 46 percent shooting for his career.
The Nuggets were hoping to entice Iguodala to come back to the Mile High City, especially because he could return on a five-year deal while the most he could get elsewhere was four years. The Nuggets offered Iguodala a five-year deal worth $60 million with $52 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said, adding that Iguodala would’ve made only $4 million in the final year of a frontloaded deal.
Howard to Houston
OAKLAND, Calif. — Dwight Howard says he is signing with the Houston Rockets.
The All-Star center posted a message on Twitter on Friday night saying he thought Houston was “the best place for me.”
“I am excited about joining the Rockets and I’m looking forward to a great season,” he added.
The Lakers confirmed earlier Friday that Howard would be leaving after one season.
“We wish him the best of luck on the remainder of his NBA career,” general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement.
USA Today first reported earlier Friday that Howard would join the Rockets, where he would join All-Star James Harden to give the Rockets a potentially potent inside-outside combination.
Dallas, Golden State and Atlanta were the other suitors interested in Howard.
Celtics introduce Stevens
WALTHAM, Mass. — Brad Stevens said he had no desire to leave Butler — until the Celtics called.
Seventeen championships. Bill Russell. Red Auerbach. It was all too much for the 36-year-old Stevens to resist.
Boston introduced its 17th coach at a news conference on Friday at the team’s practice facility, and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Stevens was his first choice to replace Doc Rivers. Boston received a first-round draft pick from the Los Angeles Clippers for the rights to Rivers last week, and then Ainge called Stevens.
“First of all, the Boston Celtics, like, wow — that is an incredible feeling,” Stevens said about last week’s phone call from Ainge. “It’s an incredible honor and it’s certainly flattering.”
Stevens received a six-year deal worth a reported $22 million and became the youngest head coach in the NBA.
McRoberts to stay a Bobcat
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A person familiar with the situation says free agent forward Josh McRoberts has agreed to a two-year, $5.5 million deal to remain with the Charlotte Bobcats. The second year of the deal includes a player option.
McRoberts outperformed expectations after being acquired in a trade with the Orlando Magic on Feb. 21. He wound up starting 19 games and averaged 9.3 points and 7.2 rebounds in 26 total games for Charlotte.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound McRoberts gives the Bobcats added depth in the front court behind expected starters Al Jefferson and rookie Cody Zeller.