Miami Heat: Is Pat Riley correct in saying that Andre Iguodala is still “elite”?

The Miami Heat were players at the deadline, landing Jae Crowder, Solomon Hill, & Andre Iguodala. Is Pat Riley right by saying that Iggy is still elite though?

The Miami Heat got a ton better at the trade deadline. While Pat Riley is a magician for moving what he was able to move, totally leave himself in an ideal position for the future, while also bringing back stuff of extreme value to this iteration of the Miami Heat team, are we really all that much surprised?

We shouldn’t be, as he told us that he wanted to win at least once more, while this has been the type of thing he has been capable of for so long throughout his career. While the mere instance of him being able to work such a bamboozle of a deal in the Heat’s favor isn’t surprising at all, he did say something in the midst of that deal that may surprise some. With Andre Iguodala being a huge part of that particular trade scenario, Riley offered up the notion that he thinks Iggy is still “elite”.

While some may scoff at the notion, Pat Riley just may have a point. Here’s is why he could be right.

When talking in terms of professional sports specifically, “elite” is a very relative word. That could be for many reasons as teams change, personnel changes, and so do coaches and the overarching philosophies of any given team from year to year. Another specific reason for this relativity is due to the fact that most professional sports, or all sports in general for that matter, are broken down by specific roles or positions.

Not only does each sport has their relative positions, but they also have more specific roles inside of those positions that a player can play. In example and in baseball, you may have two first basemen, where one is a slugger while the other is more the defensive guy. In basketball, you may have a guy who excels at facilitating and running a team at the point guard position, but you may have a scoring guard option that slots in at point guard when the team needs an offensive boost.

Likewise in football, you could use a scenario such as the New Orleans Saints’ with Taysom Hill and Drew Brees. While Brees is the undoubted starter and main guy, when there is a short-yardage, gadget play, or long heave of a throw coming in the next play, Hill is the guy to get the nod.

So, to bring it back around, Pat Riley was right. Andre Iguodala is still elite and especially in the role that the Miami Heat will ask him to play.

Across his last few seasons, he has excelled as a jack of all trades as the Golden State Warriors pseudo sixth man and utility guy. He could facilitate, act as a three and D guy, act as a stopper, or even slot in as the small ball four if that’s what the game dictated.

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He’ll be asked to do a little bit of all of that with the Miami Heat as well and he should continue to excel there. So when Pat Riley says that Andre Iguodala is still “elite”, he is right, especially relative to the role he will be asked to play in Miami and with the things they will ask him to do.

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