After failing to win their third consecutive NBA championship in the 2018-19 NBA season, Andre Iguodala found himself being traded by the Golden State Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies in order to create enough salary-cap space to acquire D’Angelo Russell in the 2019 NBA free agency period. With the Grizzlies currently in the middle of a rebuilding process, most people don’t see Iguodala staying long in Memphis. However, instead of simply buying out his contract and let him walk away as an unrestricted free agent, the Grizzlies are still hoping that they could acquire valuable assets in return by trading the veteran.
In his recent article, Scott Rafferty of NBA Canada mentioned possible landing spots for Andre Iguodala before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Aside from the two NBA teams based in Los Angeles, another intriguing trade destination for the former Finals MVP is the Portland Trail Blazers. Rafferty suggested that the Grizzlies and the Trail Blazers could explore a trade involving Iguodala and Kent Bazemore.
“There would be some risk in flipping Bazemore for Iguodala, though. Not only is Bazemore younger and less injury prone, he’s a better 3-point shooter. It might ultimately come down to how confident the Blazers are that they can compete this season – some of which will undoubtedly hinge on how Jusuf Nurkic looks when he returns from his injury – because Bazemore would help them more in the regular season, whereas Iguodala would help them more in the playoffs. The Blazers might tick a lot of Iguodala’s boxes as well, as they can offer him a starting role on a team with championship aspirations.”
Though trading Bazemore for Iguodala works financially, it won’t likely be enough to convince the Grizzlies to make a deal. If the Trail Blazers are serious about adding Iguodala on their roster, Rafferty believes that they would need to add sweeteners in the trade package. These include a combination of young players like Mario Hezonja, Skal Labissiere, Anfernee Simons, and Zach Collins as well as future draft picks.
The potential acquisition of Andre Iguodala wouldn’t make the Trail Blazers an instant favorite to win the NBA championship next season, but it would boost their chance of fully dominating the loaded Western Conference. Iguodala would give the Trail Blazers a defensive-minded wingman with plenty of championship experience and a proven contributor in the playoffs where games are more important.
While Iguodala would undeniably be an incredible addition to their roster, it remains a big question if the Trail Blazers are willing to give up young players and future draft picks for a 35-year-old veteran who could only be a one-year rental.