News that the Grizzlies are currently uninterested in negotiating a buyout with Andre Iguodala is unlikely to push the veteran’s potential trade suitors into action, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, who hears from league sources that those teams are more likely to “wait out” the Grizzlies.
As Deveney notes – and as has been previously reported – Memphis would like to get a first-round pick in exchange for Iguodala, but teams with interest in the former Warrior don’t believe it will ultimately take more than a second-rounder. Even that price may be too high for some interested teams, who are hoping Iguodala will eventually become available via buyout.
One league executive who spoke to Deveney suggested that an impasse at this point shouldn’t be a surprise.
“What the Grizzlies are doing, it is to be expected,” the exec said. “They’re looking at him as an asset and they want to get something in return for him. He’s under contract, so they hold all the cards. The worst he can do is not show up and it is not like Memphis is going to be playing for a playoff spot. Him not showing up wouldn’t help anything. But if you’re on the outside, those teams, they’re just waiting it out.”
The Clippers are viewed around the NBA as the most likely landing spot for Iguodala, per Deveney, but they don’t necessarily have a simple path to a trade, given all the draft picks they’ve traded away and their proximity to the tax line. The Rockets, Lakers, Nuggets, and Mavericks have been linked to Iguodala, but all face potential roadblocks on the trade market too.
According to Deveney, the Grizzlies’ ideal scenario would be to have Iguodala start the season on the roster to mentor the team’s young players, then trade him at some point before the deadline in exchange for a first-round pick — or at least a second-rounder or two. But it’s unclear how enthusiastic the 35-year-old would be about spending much of the 2019/20 season on a non-contending team.
“It is going to be a matter of whether the Grizzlies blink on this one or not,” the league executive told Deveney. “You have a guy who does not want to be there but has some value. He does not have a ton of value, though. He’s 35, 36 years old. So what do you do, hold him hostage? If you want him to be a guy to help your young players but he does not want to do that, does that really help your young players? Most teams figure they can wait (the Grizzlies) out on this.”
Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian took a Grizzlies-centric look at the Iguodala situation on Monday, writing that “one way or another” the former Finals MVP figures to be on a new team after the February trade deadline.