The Los Angeles Lakers have one remaining roster spot which could create an intriguing fit with a talented free agent who remains on the open market. But it appears the team’s front office has other plans, and will instead keep the spot open while awaiting word on a top potential buyout candidate.
ESPN’s Dave McMenamin recently joined SportsCenter to discuss the Lakers, Kawhi Leonard and a number of other topics. But one piece of news he revealed was certainly eye-opening. According to the NBA analyst, the Lakers are keeping their final roster spot clear for if Andre Iguodala is bought out by the Memphis Grizzlies.
“Now they have a roster they feel happy about, they feel good about the way they were able to build post-Kawhi. Getting Danny Green, getting a guy like DeMarcus Cousins, bringing back some continuity from last year. But leaving a spot open to potentially get Andre Iguodala if he is bought out of his $17.2 million deal.” McMenamin revealed.
It was widely believed that the Lakers had interest in Iguodala, and he’d make a strong addition to an already-talented roster led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
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Lakers View Iguodala as ‘X-Factor’ Type of Addition
While the Lakers could target a player like Carmelo Anthony, who they’ve been linked to previously, it appears their sights are set on Iguodala. The former Golden State Warriors guard/forward was dealt as a part of the three-team sign-and-trade which sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and D’Angelo Russell to the Bay Area.
During the same interview on SportsCenter, McMenamin explained that the Lakers view Iguodala as an “X-factor” type of player. He also cites the connection to the team’s current general manager, Rob Pelinka.
“We’re talking about a former finals MVP, a guy who was repped by the Lakers GM Rob Pelinka when he was an agent. And a guy who just as recently as Game 6 of the NBA Finals dropped 22 points, almost forcing a Game 7 back in Toronto. They feel like he could be an X-factor type of guy to add with the group they already have.” McMenamin stated.
It’s unknown where Iguodala would prefer to play if he’s bought out by the Grizzlies, but the Lakers would almost certainly be an appealing option for the 35-year-old.
Lakers to Face Competition in Iguodala Pursuit
Although the Lakers’ interest in Iguodala is incredibly apparent, it may take some work to bring him to Los Angeles, assuming he’s bought out of his current deal. A number of teams have reportedly shown interest in the veteran swingman and a few have even attempted to strike a trade with the Grizzlies.
As The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported previously, both the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers have strongly pursued Iguodala via trade. Due to his contract, a deal would be tough to get done, and that’s led to talks between the teams stalling out.
For the time being, Iguodala remains with the Grizzlies, but if they’re unable to move him, a buyout makes sense as the most likely outcome.