Could NBA teams really acquire Andre Iguodala just to prevent him from going to a certain contender?
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, that appears to be the case. As Mannix details in his latest article, contending teams such as the Los Angeles Clippers may trade for the former Finals MVP merely to keep him away from one particular team — the Los Angeles Lakers.
“Speaking of Iguodala, a series of tweets from Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant effectively ended any possibility of Iggy returning to Memphis for the stretch run. The Grizzlies have insisted that Iguodola will not be bought out, an executive who has had multiple conversations with Memphis brass told SI.com, leading to the belief that there must be something out there. Dallas? The Mavs have Courtney Lee’s contract and second round picks. The Clippers? A Harkless-Iguodala swap makes sense. Any contender might want to make a run at Iggy just to keep him away from the Lakers. The Clippers almost can’t afford to let Iguodala off the board for that exact reason.”
The Clippers have assets that Iguodala’s current team — the Memphis Grizzlies — could use. The expiring contract of Mo Harkless along with a first-round draft pick would obviously entice the Grizzlies. On the other hand, the Lakers really don’t have any assets outside of Kyle Kuzma.
The Houston Rockets are also another team now rumored to be in the Iguodala sweepstakes, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Why Teams Are Concerned About Iguodala Joining Lakers
So if the Lakers can’t realistically trade for Iguodala, why are they so concerned? After all, the Grizzlies have made it clear that they don’t plan on buying out Iguodala if they can’t trade him.
Then again, that could simply be a bluff as a way of enticing teams to give up assets in exchange for the 36-year-old veteran. In other words, if Iguodala is bought out, the Lakers could emerge as favorites to land the former Finals MVP.
Regardless of what ends up transpiring with Iguodala, it’s clear that teams such as the Clippers are worried about the threat of the veteran small forward joining their crosstown rivals. So much so that they’re willing to give up assets to prevent him from joining the Purple and Gold.
The trade deadline is on Thursday, so we’ll see if one of these contending teams are able to pull off a deal for the three-time NBA champion.
Andre Iguodala Won’t Play For Grizzlies
It’s starting to get ugly in Memphis. With the trade deadline nearing and the threat of remaining on Memphis’ roster a real possibility, Iguodala is apparently making one thing clear — he will not suit up for the Grizzlies.
Despite the fact that the young upstart Grizzlies are in contention for the Western Conference’s eighth seed — they’re 2.5 games ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the final playoff spot — Iguodala has no interest in playing for the team this season.
Via David Aldridge of The Athletic:
Needless to say, Grizzlies shooting guard Dillon Brooks didn’t take kindly to the report that Iguodala wants no part of playing for Memphis.
“First time I seen him was on TV talking about us,” Brooks said. “It doesn’t even matter. Andre Iguodala is a great player. I feel like he’s doing the right thing for his career, but we don’t really care. It’s not a distraction at all. I laugh at that type of stuff. A guy that’s on our team that doesn’t want to be on our team, I can’t wait til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about.”
Let’s hope Iguodala ends up on a team that plays the Grizzlies in the postseason. Considering Memphis is likely penciled in as the eighth seed, that’s either the Lakers or Clippers.
That would definitely be one interesting first round playoff series.