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Miami Heat 2020-21 player review: Andre Iguodala

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The NBA veteran had his moments off the bench, but his playoff experience was wasted this year.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Miami Heat Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason has arrived for the Miami Heat, who were swept out of the first round in the NBA playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks — losing their four games by a combined 82 points.

Before we deep dive into everything regarding the future months for this team, let’s discuss the seasons for Heat players who played and finished on the 2020-21 Heat roster.

For our 10th player review — conducted in alphabetical order — we will look veteran swingman Andre Iguodala. Here’s the previous nine Heat players we’ve reviewed thus far:

Let’s dive into it!

Brief Overview:

2020-21 stats (63 games):

  • 4.4 PPG
  • 3.5 RPG
  • 2.3 APG
  • 51.9 true shooting percentage
  • 9.9 player efficiency rating

Last year, Iguodala was included in a three-team deal with Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder going to the Heat from the Memphis Grizzlies. It worked out beautifully for Miami, unlocking their switch-y defensive philosophy — ultimately propelling into the NBA Finals. Both Hill and Crowder departed in free agency, leaving Iguodala as the last one standing in South Beach among those three.

He underwent the least productive season of his career in 2020-21. The 37-year-old tallied career lows in scoring, assists, field goal percentage (38.3) and PER, while registering the second-fewest rebounds and tallied his second-lowest true shooting percentage. It didn’t help that Iguodala, whose string of six consecutive NBA Finals appearances was snapped this year, was coming off the truncated 71-day offseason. His impact, which had peaks and valleys throughout the season, mostly rested outside the box score this year.

Numbers to note:

65.5 - In his heyday, Iguodala wasn’t known for his 3-point shot frequency. He wasn’t as detrimental as some might’ve thought — knocking down 33.1 percent of his 2.9 3-point attempts in his first ten NBA seasons. But Iguodala was particularly an athletic, two-way slashing specimen during his prime. He hasn’t gotten downhill as often as he’s aged; his field goal attempts per game have decreased in each of the last eight seasons, resorting into a frequent deep-ball shooter. Per’s tracking data, 65.5 percent of Iguodala’s points came from beyond the arc — shattering his previous career high (43.8 percent) set in last year’s COVID-shortened season.

60.6 - When he did shoot 3s, Iguodala operated mainly out of the catch-and-shoot. He attempted 60.6 percent of his 3s off the catch at a middling 33.1 percent clip. Opposing coaches often stuck their worst on-ball defender, or one of their top off-ball roamers on Iguodala for additional help on the interior. He didn’t always attract enough respectability to properly space the floor, but still made defenses pay for over-rotating.

8.1 - Miami was in the middle-of-the-pack across the NBA in transition offense this year. Iguodala didn’t necessarily spike its production in that department — but its transition frequency increased with him on the floor — especially off steals. The Heat got out in transition a team-most 8.1 percent more off steals when Iguodala was on the floor, per Cleaning the Glass. Regardless of where he was at on the hardwood, his length and active hands created a great deal of chances for Miami to run on the break.

As shown in a few of plays above, Iguodala’s versatility in Erik Spoelstra’s different defensive schemes helped tally points on the board. Since Spoelstra is known for inverting his 2-3 zone defense — prioritizing lengthy wings at the top of the defensive scheme with undersized guards or the best roamers hiding in the corners — Iguodala would be a main staple at the top of the zone. The 37-year-old veteran created deflections on passes towards the middle, stunted at the nail on drives and picked his spots to collapse on the interior in necessary help situations.

Best game?

April 19 vs. Houston Rockets

Iguodala isn’t your typical stat-sheet stuffer. But in this game, that wasn’t the case. Iguodala tallied a season-high 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from behind the arc. His four 3s tied a season high. He added six boards, seven assists, two blocks, two steals and finishing a plus-22.

What’s next?

Like Dragic, Miami’s in a predicament with Iguodala this offseason. When Miami trade-and-extended Iguodala in March of 2019, they attached the $15M team-option for this offseason to eventually decline, making room for Giannis Antetokounmpo. With the Greek Freak signing his supermax in Dec., that plan ultimately flew out the window.

Now, Miami’s got a decision to make. On paper, it’s more likely Miami opts into the deal to use as a salary filler for a trade. He and Dragic’s team-options are its only current deals that rest in-between $10-20M — a sweet spot for fillers. The other obvious route would be to decline his team option and re-sign him to a considerably lower dollar figure. Either is plausible, but the former is more likely.

If Iguodala returns, he’ll fill the same role. But it’s no secret that Kyle Lowry, who Miami was linked to at the trade deadline, will attract plenty of buzz this offseason. I’ve highlighted in some of my previous player reviews that young assets — like Precious Achiuwa or Tyler Herro — could be on their way out for a win-now player. Attaching Iguodala to one — or both, if they’re included — of those aforementioned cogs is more than realistic as a potential sign-and-trade option.