NBA Rumors: Lakers Should Pursue Andre Iguodala Following DeMarcus Cousins’ Injury, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors reacts to a call during the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

Due to the torn ACL he reportedly suffered during an offseason workout on Thursday, there’s a good chance Los Angeles Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins may sit out the entire 2019-20 season. As such, the Lakers could either convince Anthony Davis to move from power forward to center or give JaVale McGee the starting center job outright. There has also been talk of signing a free agent big man such as Kenneth Faried or Joakim Noah, as noted previously by The Inquisitr. However, one report suggests that the Lakers may benefit more by taking a different route and pursuing one specific veteran wingman – recent Memphis Grizzlies acquisition Andre Iguodala.

In a report published on Thursday, Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus looked at the different courses of action the Lakers could take, now that Cousins is likely out for the season. While Pincus stressed that the Lakers still have one of the best rosters in the Western Conference, he opined that there are pitfalls to the contingency plans mentioned above, such as the team’s lack of a true center outside of McGee and the 6-foot-10-inch Davis’ well-documented preference for the power forward position.

Also mentioned was the lack of options the Lakers may have in free agency, as the NBA’s disabled player exception, if applicable, would amount to less money than what the team would have to pay to sign a five-year veteran to a minimum contract.

After predicting that the Lakers will most likely start McGee at center and give Davis minutes at the position when McGee is resting, Pincus recommended that the team would be better off prioritizing Andre Iguodala as DeMarcus Cousins’ replacement, instead of going the obvious route by signing a reserve big man. At the moment, the Grizzlies are reportedly trying to trade Iguodala, though as Pincus noted, his expiring contract, which is valued at $17.2 million, might make it hard for Memphis to deal the 2015 NBA Finals MVP. That, he stressed, would make him an ideal addition for the Lakers if the Grizzlies choose to buy out his contract instead.

“If available, Iguodala will be hotly pursued by multiple contenders. The Lakers would hope that his connection to [general manager Rob] Pelinka, who served as Iguodala’s agent for many years before joining the team’s front office, would pay dividends.”

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Currently, the Lakers are solid at the wing positions with free-agent additions Avery Bradley and Danny Green and returnee Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. However, Iguodala could still contribute to a Lakers team hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2018-19 campaign, especially as a defensive specialist and veteran leader with championship experience. Last season, Iguodala averaged a career-low 5.7 points, along with 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists, per Basketball-Reference, but still played an important role for the Warriors as they made their fifth NBA Finals appearance this decade.