NBA: Andre Iguodala opts for Golden State Warriors stay, P.J. Tucker on board as Houston Rockets take off

Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors celebrating after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 to win the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017.
Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors celebrating after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120 in Game 5 to win the 2017 NBA Finals at ORACLE Arena on June 12, 2017.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

New York (AFP) - Free agent swingman Andre Iguodala has agreed a three-year deal to remain with National Basketball Association (NBA) champions Golden State Warriors, with the 33-year-old reserve confirming the move on Twitter.

"Sources close to Andre Iguodala reporting agreed to terms to return to the bay...." Iguodala tweeted, a poke at the uncertainty surrounding all news in the first days of the NBA's 2017-18 free agency frenzy.

Talks with free agents began on Saturday but the league forbids contract signings until Thursday.

That doesn't prevent dealmaking but it does keep teams from talking about their moves until they are finalised.

Iguodala's deal, worth US$48 million (S$66 million) according to multiple reports, comes after he met with the San Antonio Spurs and the Houston Rockets.

The Warriors are working to retain the core of a club that have won two NBA crowns in three seasons and came within a game of sweeping all three.

They agreed to terms on the richest contract in NBA history with a five-year "super-max" deal worth US$201 million to star guard Stephen Curry, the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) reaping the benefits of a salary cap jump and a willingness to take less than he could make elsewhere to keep the Warriors a title contender and on budget.

That was the same decision made by reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, who left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors in a free agent deal last July.

Durant opted out of his contract so the Warriors had more money to pay top reserves Iguodala and Shaun Livingston but is expected to rejoin the club.

He would likely command a huge deal next year but his sacrifice this season keeps the nucleus of a championship dynasty together for another campaign.

Iguodala was the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, his insertion into the starting line-up producing matchup issues the Cleveland Cavaliers could not overcome, and he was a finalist for this year's NBA Sixth Man of the Year award given to the top bench player.

Iguodala averaged 7.6 points, 3.4 assists and 4.0 rebounds in 76 games last season and has averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds over 13 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Denver Nuggets and the Warriors.

His rejection of the Rockets, who landed point guard Chris Paul in a deal with the Clippers to join star shooting guard James Harden, prompted Houston to strike a deal with forward P.J. Tucker, multiple reports saying it was for four years and US$32 million.

Tucker met with the Toronto Raptors, who obtained him last February in a deal with the Phoenix Suns, but talks with Houston players, including Harden and Paul according to ESPN, prompted him to join the Rockets.

Known for intense defensive play, Tucker averaged 6.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 81 games for the Suns and Raptors last season.

The Rockets also might be a landing spot for Carmelo Anthony if the New York Knicks decide to trade the 33-year-old forward, a three-time US Olympic gold medallist.

Spanish free agent forward Serge Ibaka agreed to a three-year deal worth US$65 million to stay with the Toronto Raptors, ESPN and the Toronto Star reported.

Ibaka averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in 23 games after being traded from the Orlando Magic.

The Cavaliers, who lost to the Warriors in the finals for the second time in three seasons last month, agreed to terms with point guard Jose Calderon, the 35-year-old Spaniard's agent announced.

The one-year deal would see him serve as a backup to Cavs guard Kyrie Irving.

Minnesota Timberwolves and forward Taj Gibson agreed to a two-year deal worth US$28 million, according to multiple reports, that reunites Gibson with former coach Tom Thibodeau.

They were together from 2010 to 2015 with the Chicago Bulls, along with Jimmy Butler, who was traded by Chicago to the Timberwolves last month.

Gibson was traded to the Thunder by the Bulls last season.