Since the 2019 NBA offseason, rumors have been circulating that Andre Iguodala would be parting ways with the Memphis Grizzlies. With the team currently in the first phase of the rebuilding process, the Grizzlies are definitely aware that keeping Iguodala on their roster doesn’t make any sense. Several title contenders have already expressed interest in acquiring Iguodala from the Grizzlies, including the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and the Houston Rockets.
However, from the time they acquired him from the Golden State Warriors, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that the Grizzlies have been relaying the same message to Iguodala’s top suitors: if you want him, trade for him.
“He’s still a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, and the message that Memphis has been delivering to the entire league, to teams who would love to get him, especially for the postseason, the Clippers, the Lakers, the Houston Rockets, you’re going to have to trade for him,” Wojnarowski said, as quoted by SB Nation’s Silver Screen And Roll. “We are not buying him out. He is not going to be on the free agent market. And I think the date of Dec. 15 will be an important day for Andre Iguodala. That is when the summer’s free agents, almost 40% of the players in the league are eligible to be traded. Now you can get more creative with deals.”
Iguodala may not be expected to play a single game as a member of the Grizzlies, but the team doesn’t seem to have any plan of letting him walk away as an unrestricted free agent. Though Iguodala is already on the downside of his career, the Grizzlies strongly believe that there would be teams who will be willing to throw away valuable trade assets for the veteran small forward before the February trade deadline.
Targeting Iguodala makes a lot of sense for the likes of the Lakers, Clippers, and the Rockets. All three are currently considered legitimate threats in the deep Western Conference, but they could still use some help from a veteran with plenty of championship experience in their second unit. However, it remains a big question mark what type of trade assets the Lakers, Clippers, and the Rockets are willing to give up for the aging small forward.
Aside from giving up a young player or a future draft pick, his potential suitors would also need to include players in the trade package that will match Iguodala’s $17.1 million salary this season. The Grizzlies won’t lose anything by playing the waiting game, but if they demand an unreasonable return for the veteran small forward, it would be hard for them to find a trade partner anytime soon.