There is still more from the saga of Andre Iguodala, the former Finals MVP who has been rendered inactive for the first three months of the season as he awaits a decision on his fate from his current employer, the Grizzlies. Iguodala does not want to play for Memphis and the Grizzlies have allowed him to sit out until the team finds a trade for him.
Iguodala has gotten plenty of interest around the league, from the Rockets, the Lakers, the Mavericks, the Clippers and others, but no team has yet met the Grizzlies’ price of a first-round draft pick, preferably one with the potential to land in the top half of the draft. Memphis does intend to buy out Iguodala.
As on league executive told Heavy.com last month, “They haven’t budged. Maybe they will as the date gets closer, but they’ve made clear, they’re not interested in a buyout with Andre and they’re looking for a first-rounder.”
Now, another potential Iguodala suitor has emerged, and it’s a team with which he’s all too familiar: the Sixers, who drafted Iguodala with the No. 9 pick way back in 2004. According to Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer, Philadelphia is among the teams seeking to trade with Memphis for Iverson.
At one time, Iguodala was tabbed for stardom in Philadelphia, seen as the heir to Allen Iverson—his teammate with the Sixers for two-plus years. But Iguodala was never the volume scorer that Iverson was and, at his peak, in 2007-08, averaged 19.9 points.
That engendered frustration and disappointment from Sixers fans and Iguodala was traded to Denver in 2012.
Sixers Want Iguodala for Perimeter Upgrade
Philadelphia is seeking an upgrade on the perimeter, especially defensively where the Sixers are concerned with their ability to match up with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. Iguodala is the kind of smart, physical wing defender who gives Antetkounmpo trouble. Milwaukee is 33-6 and comfortably on top of the Eastern Conference.
Another former Philly player, Robert Covington, has also been on the Sixers’ wish list. The team traded him to Minnesota last year as part of the package that brought back Jimmy Butler. With the Timberwolves languishing near the bottom rungs of the West playoff picture, several teams have been pushing for a Covington trade.
Both the Rockets and Lakers are among those said to be interested in Covington, just as they are with Iguodala. Covington spent four-plus seasons with the Sixers, one of the success stories to come out of the franchise’s “The Process” rebuilding program.
Like Iguodala, Covington is seen as an effective defensive option against Antetokounmpo.
Andre Iguodala in Limbo With Grizzlies
Iguodala was traded to the Grizzlies in July from the Warriors, along with a 2024 first-round draft pick. It was in his six seasons in Golden State that Iguodala reset his reputation, becoming known as an ace defender, primarily for his work against LeBron James in the NBA Finals in 2015. It was in that series, in which Iguodala averaged 16.3 points, that he earned the series MVP award.
After Golden State lost to Toronto in last year’s championship series and lost star forward Kevin Durant in free agency, the Warriors decided to retool. That meant sloughing off the 35-year-old Iguodala, who has $17.1 million for this season left on his contract, on Memphis.
There was speculation that the Grizzlies would simply buy out Iguodala and allow him to sign elsewhere as a free agent. But Memphis is determined to wring more value out of him ahead of the trade deadline. Iguodala has not played since June and turns 36 in less than three weeks, but plenty of teams—the Sixers apparently among them—have an interest.