Although the Memphis Grizzlies have yet to decide on the fate of veteran wingman Andre Iguodala, it appears that multiple NBA players want him to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent — provided he and the Grizzlies agree on a contract buyout.
As recapped by Bleacher Report, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan appeared on colleague Brian Windhorst’s Hoop Collective podcast this week, where she claimed to have spoken to four unnamed NBA players, all of whom believe that Iguodala will join the Lakers if the Grizzlies buy out his contract. The 16-year veteran, who won three championships while mostly playing a sixth-man role for the Golden State Warriors, was traded to Memphis in the 2019 offseason for future draft picks, in an attempt to clear up salary-cap space for former Brooklyn Nets guard D’Angelo Russell.
Reports last month claimed that Iguodala and the Grizzlies had come to terms on an agreement that would allow Memphis to either move him to another team once he becomes eligible to be traded in December or buy out the remaining year on his existing contract. However, more recent updates have suggested that the Grizzlies have yet to consider the latter option, as the organization is hoping to find a trade partner willing to give up a draft pick or a young player for the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.
While Iguodala could provide quality defense and add valuable experience to a Lakers team that is already loaded with veterans, there’s a chance he might turn out to be a one-year rental for the Purple and Gold, assuming he moves to Los Angeles as expected. As reported on Wednesday by The Inquisitr, Marc Stein of The New York Times wrote in this week’s edition of his newsletter that the 35-year-old wingman is a “virtual lock” to return to the Warriors in the summer of 2020 for what could be a final stint with the team before he retires.
In addition to MacMullan’s claim that “every player” she’s spoken to expects Iguodala to join the Lakers, Bleacher Report noted that “Iggy” himself seemed to tease a desire for a “short-term run in Los Angeles” earlier this week. The publication wrote that the former All-Defensive Team selection tweeted the words “can I live?” during the Lakers’ opening-day loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, adding that it’s also possible that he may opt for the latter team if he becomes available as a waiver-wire acquisition.