Just what exactly is Andre Iguodala’s future with the Memphis Grizzlies?
As it becomes more and more clear that Iguodala won’t ever play in a game for Memphis, the interest in the 35-year-old veteran remains high throughout the NBA. In fact, contending teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers and the Houston Rockets are interested in adding Iguodala to their already stacked cores.
While the interest in Iguodala isn’t an issue, the issue that does exist is how exactly will Iguodala end up on these teams as he’s still under contract in Memphis. As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN made very clear this weekend, the idea of Iguodala being bought out and signed by either of these teams is not a possibility — the Grizzlies are adamant on trading him and getting something back in return.
This isn’t exactly surprising. After all, the Grizzlies did trade for the veteran small forward with the idea they’d want to trade him to receive something in return.
Lakers Will Have To Make Trade if They Want Iguodala
The Lakers — the presumed favorites for Iguodala’s services — had expected Iguodala to be bought out. Instead, they’re going to have to pony up some assets if they want the former Finals MVP on their squad for the 2019-20 season.
While the Lakers don’t exactly need Iguodala — they currently have the league’s best record at 14-2 and are in the midst of a seven-game win streak — the addition of a glue veteran piece could be the difference between winning a championship and not winning a title at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
Iguodala Not Expected to be Traded Until February
As Kurt Helin of NBC Sports points out, an imminent trade featuring Iguodala is not expected — expect this to drag out until the trade deadline in February.
“When the Warriors traded Iguodala to the Grizzlies this summer in a cost-saving move, some around the league expected a quick buyout. That didn’t happen. Iguodala is making $17.2 million this season and he wants to get paid his money. The Grizzlies don’t want to just pay that out and get nothing for it. From the start they wanted to trade him and let other teams around the league know, again with a first-round pick the starting point.
There is little action on the Iguodala trade front right now, but that was to be expected. There are not likely to be trades in any form before Dec. 15, when the roughly 40 percent of NBA players who signed a contract this summer come available to be part of a deal. Even then, this likely drags out closer to the Feb. 6 trade deadline.”
The 15-year veteran holds career averages of 12.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.5 steals per game and won a Finals MVP as a member of the Golden State Warriors during the 2015 NBA Finals.
Iguodala is currently due to earn $17.2 million this season and considering the Lakers don’t have any first-round picks to send out until 2026 — combined with the fact that they don’t have the salaries to match for an Iguodala trade — it’s difficult to envision the veteran forward in the Purple and Gold this season.