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Heat decline team option for Andre Iguodala

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The three-time champion will become a free agent.

Boston Celtics v Miami Heat - Game Six Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Sunday that the Miami Heat declined the $15 million team option for Andre Iguodala, making the 37-year-old veteran a free agent. Miami picked up the team option for Goran Dragic.

Miami could have included Iguodala in a swap just before the trade deadline, but opted to instead include Kelly Olynyk in the Victor Oladipo deal. Seeing how the rest of the 2020-21 season played out — with Oladipo getting hurt and the Heat swept out of the first round — it’s easy to say now that the Heat should’ve traded Iguodala at the deadline.

Iguodala certainly had some good moments during the 2020 playoff run in the bubble. He offered some valuable defense on Giannis Antetokounmpo and made a clutch pass for a Dragic 3 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals. And who could forget his four 3-pointers in the Game 6 clincher of that series?

Aside from his on-court contributions, Iguodala also mentored Duncan Robinson.

Iguodala can still re-sign with the Heat, though it will likely be on a team-friendlier contract. We’re grateful for Iguodala’s contributions, but it’s the right move to decline the team option.

He spent roughly one-and-a-half seasons with the Heat after getting dealt from the Memphis Grizzlies — who he never suited up for — with wings Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder; Miami shipped out James Johnson to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Dion Waiters plus Justise Winslow to Memphis as part of the multi-player package.

The 37-year-old has been one of Miami’s most reliable defensive wings throughout his Heat tenure. He posted 4.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks in 20.9 minutes per game.

But even during the 2020 playoffs, Jae Crowder was the better player from that trade. Iguodala’s uneven 3-point shooting sometimes hurt Miami’s offense, especially when he shared the court with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.

Free agency will officially begin on Monday at 6 p.m. EST.