Now, he's ready to sign.
An NBA source has confirmed that 6-foot-6 guard-forward Andre Iguodala and the 76ers agreed yesterday in principle to a six-year deal worth $80 million.
In addition to the base salary, Iguodala, 24, could earn up to $5 million in bonuses. The sixth year of the contract is a player option.
Confirmation of the deal came on the heels of a hush-hush 24 hours with both camps - Iguodala's and the 76ers' - saying nothing had been finalized.
As late as yesterday afternoon, Iguodala's mother said she hadn't heard final word from her son.
Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski still had no comment on the deal, which should be signed sometime early next week.
With the terms agreed upon, the only remaining speculation is the possibility of a sign-and-trade deal, where Iguodala is dealt once he's under contract. One source close to Iguodala said he believes the Sixers intend to retain Iguodala and not ship him, and his hefty new contract, to another NBA city.
Stefanski said repeatedly in the last five weeks that re-signing Iguodala, the team's leading scorer last season, was a "priority. "
Making Iguodala a "priority" translated into a contract worth nearly as much as the blockbuster deal power forward Elton Brand signed with the team in early July for approximately $82 million.
Last year, Iguodala rejected a five-year, $57 million contract-extension offer from Sixers GM Billy King in favor of seeing how things played out this summer as a restricted free agent.
This should be the last major move for Stefanski and the 76ers, who in the previous five weeks signed three free agents - Brand, and guards Royal Ivey and Kareem Rush - and one of their own, restricted free agent guard Lou Williams.
Retaining Iguodala shores up what looks to be a solid projected starting lineup of Andre Miller at point guard, Iguodala at shooting guard, up-and-coming Thaddeus Young at small forward, Brand at power forward, and Samuel Dalembert at center.
It had been reported that Iguodala and his agent, Rob Pelinka, were seeking a contract in the five-year, $70 million neighborhood.
Considering other players in this summer's free-agent pool signed for considerably less with their own teams - players such as the Hawks' Josh Smith (five years, $58 million), the Bulls' Luol Deng (six years, $71 million), and the Bobcats' Emeka Okafor (six years, $72 million) - Iguodala's price tag appeared to be too high.
No NBA team extended Iguodala an offer sheet.
It looked possible that Iguodala would sign the Sixers' qualifying offer of $3.8 million and take his chances next summer as an unrestricted free agent.
Critics of Iguodala's said the athletic swingman was not worth big-time money after his subpar showing in last season's six-game playoff loss to Detroit: Iguodala averaged only 13.2 points and shot 14.3 percent from three-point range.
But, throughout the process, Stefanski maintained that the organization was focused on signing quality people, not just players. Stefanski said Iguodala was both.
This would seem to be the penultimate move before the opening of training camp. After backup center Jason Smith tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last week, Stefanski said the Sixers would "continue to explore all available options in order to add an additional big man to our roster. "
Iguodala, out of Arizona, was the Sixers' first-round pick (ninth overall) in the 2004 NBA draft. Iguodala's scoring average has increased in each of his four NBA seasons: from 9.0 points per game as a rookie to 19.9 last season.
Ruland interviews for assistant spot. The 76ers are interviewing three candidates to fill a soon-to-be vacant assistant coaching position.
While Henry Bibby's departure from head coach Maurice Cheeks' staff is not yet official, a source within the Sixers said it will become official soon.
That same source said three candidates are in the mix: former Sixers Jeff Ruland and Steve Mix, as well as Alton Lister, who spent last season as an Atlanta Hawks assistant coach.
Contact staff writer Kate Fagan at 856-779-3844 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
76ers' Signings On the Dotted Line
76ers general manager Ed Stefanski has had a busy off-season, signing or agreeing to contracts with six players.
Restricted Free Agents
Andre Iguodala, six years, $80 million (not signed yet).
Lou Williams, five years, $25 million.
Unrestricted Free Agents
Elton Brand, five years, $82 million.
Kareem Rush, minimum-level contract (six years), $998,398 this season.
Royal Ivey, minimum-level contract (four years), $854,957 this season.
Marreese Speights, first-round pick, $1.29 million this season.
Starting five's salaries for 2008-09
Andre Miller, $9.6 million.
Andre Iguodala, $13.3 million (not signed yet).
Thaddeus Young, $1.83 million.
Elton Brand, $15.3 million.
Samuel Dalembert, $10.3 million.