When talking about veteran wingman Andre Iguodala’s potential landing spots, the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers have frequently been mentioned as two of his top suitors amid constantly swirling rumors that he may soon be on his way out of the Memphis Grizzlies. However, a recent report suggests that the Toronto Raptors could theoretically step up as a dark horse in the Iguodala sweepstakes and acquire the 2015 NBA Finals MVP via a midseason trade.
As explained by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, the Raptors “might be as good” as last season’s championship-winning team despite losing Kawhi Leonard to the Clippers via free agency and having a number of veteran stars in the final year of their contracts. Given how well they’ve adjusted to these circumstances, Buckley suggested that Toronto could make an “aggressive move” for Iguodala after he becomes eligible to be traded on December 15, as the 35-year-old forward/guard could give them a “legitimate shot” of successfully defending their championship in the 2020 Finals.
According to Buckley, the Raptors could potentially acquire Iguodala by sending guards Norman Powell and Patrick McCaw, as well as their first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, to the Grizzlies in return. This deal, he wrote, could further improve Toronto’s defense — which currently ranks ninth in the league — while also making the team “even longer, more versatile and more intelligent” than they already are. The Bleacher Report writer also posited that the Raptors could become an even better passing team if they land Iguodala and add him to their rotation.
“His vision and selflessness would add yet another capable shot-creator to an offense already featuring four different players averaging three or [more] assists,” Buckley noted.
Talking about how the Grizzlies may benefit from the hypothetical deal, Buckley pointed out that the first-round pick would be the main selling point for Memphis, as the team has long been rumored to be seeking such an asset in exchange for Iguodala. Meanwhile, Powell and McCaw were described as players who could be more than just “throw-ins” if moved to the Grizzlies, as the former has been contributing to Toronto with his outside shooting and the latter — if healthy — could provide some much-needed playmaking and defense.
It’s unclear whether the Raptors are actually interested in Iguodala, who, prior to his trade to Memphis this summer, won three championships while mostly playing a sixth-man role for the Golden State Warriors. However, a recent report from The Inquisitr noted that the Grizzlies have reportedly sent a “message” to his many suitors that they have no plans of buying out his contract, and that interested teams have no choice but to trade for him.