After five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and winning three NBA championship titles, the Golden State Warriors parted ways with Andre Iguodala this summer. In order to free salary cap space for the 2019 NBA free agency, the Warriors traded Iguodala and a protected future first-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Julian Washburn. Since the deal became official, rumors and speculations continue to circulate around Iguodala’s future with the Grizzlies.
With the team currently focusing on the development of their young players, Andre Iguodala is clearly an odd fit on the Grizzlies’ roster. However, instead of buying out his contract and letting him choose his next destination, the Grizzlies are reportedly planning to trade Iguodala for assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. According to Chris Herrington of Daily Memphian, one of the four NBA teams who are “most widely thought to be trade suitors” for Iguodala is the Los Angeles Clippers.
After the successful acquisition of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the 2019 NBA offseason, the Clippers have managed to turn themselves from a mediocre team to a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. To further strengthen their chance of winning their first Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Clippers are also aiming to solidify their second unit.
Andre Iguodala may already be in his mid-30s, but he can still be a reliable contributor for the Clippers, giving them a defensive-minded wingman who can be tasked to guard the opposing team’s best player. To acquire Iguodala, Herrington suggested that the Clippers could offer a trade package including Maurice Harkless and Jerome Robinson to the Grizzlies. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“The Clippers have leaked that they won’t trade forward Maurice Harkless ($11.5 million expiring contract) in an Iguodala deal. But including Harkless is pretty much the only way to make a deal, and his contract alone isn’t big enough. The Clippers could trade Harkless and second-year guard Jerome Robinson ($3.6 million on a rookie contract) for Iguodala. Robinson didn’t play much – or well – for the Clippers last season, but is one year removed from being a late lottery pick and plays the Grizzlies’ position of greatest need.”
If the trade becomes a reality, it will not only be beneficial for the Clippers but also for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies may not be able to extract a future draft asset from the Clippers in the potential deal, but they would be acquiring a young and promising player in Jerome Robinson, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. As Herrington noted, Robinson plays the “Grizzlies’ position of greatest need.” Robinson may have failed to impress in his first season in the NBA, but playing for a rebuilding team like the Grizzlies where he could receive significant playing time may help him unleash his full potential.