|This is his excited face. (Getty Images)|
It could just be the standard lip-service provided at a presser to introduce a player to his new team. But on Thursday, Andre Iguodala seemed pretty genuine when he told reporters he's not looking to make a brief stay in Denver, he wants to make a home in the Mile High City. From the Denver Post:
Iguodala made some news at the news conference, admitting that he wants to sign with Denver long-term. He is currently under contract for 2012-13 and has a player option for 2013-14.
"We weren't coming into this thinking this will be a one-year deal," Iguodala said.
Denver executives Josh Kroenke and Masai Ujiri were also at the news conference. Ujiri spoke about how the team would like to lock down "Iggy" to a long-term deal, something he will look into in the coming season.
Denver didn't acquire Iguodala as a rental... we don't think. It's easy to say that they clearly want him after giving up Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington and a first-round pick to Orlando in the four-way deal that landed the versatile forward with the Nuggets last week. But we thought the same about Afflalo after he re-signed at a handsome figure in the offseason, and about Nene who signed to a $13 million-per-year deal in December. So who knows.
But it would make sense for the Nuggets to consider Iguodala as the first of the two superstars necessary to compete in the league these days, and if things go well, Iguodala could come to really enjoy playing in Denver's system.
The CBA complicates matters, though. It's likely in any circumstance that Iguodala will enter free agency by opting out of his final year next summer. An extension can only get him an extra three years on his deal, while opting out and re-signing with Denver would get him the full five years, if they agreed to a max deal. Signing elsewhere would grant him a four-year deal. So it's unlikely that there's a way to avoid Iguodala hitting the open market.
And before any of that happens, he has to actually play with the team and see how this works. But for now, things are starting off on the right foot between Iguodala and his new team.