Andre Iguodala technically remains under contract with the Grizzlies, but the expectation is that he’ll be traded or bought out at some point this season, allowing him to join a contender. While it remains to be seen which club Iguodala will end up playing for, David Aldridge of The Athletic asked several NBA executives to hazard a guess and virtually all of them predicted the Lakers would be the landing spot for the former Finals MVP.
“[The Lakers would offer the] best combination of ring chance and role,” one longtime team boss told Aldridge.
For Iguodala to get to the Lakers, the Grizzlies would almost certainly have to go the buyout route, since L.A. probably doesn’t have the necessary salary-matching pieces to take on Iguodala’s $17MM+ salary in a trade. The only non-stars on the Lakers’ roster earning more than $4.77MM this season are Danny Green ($14.64MM), who is a key rotation player, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($8.09MM), who holds a de facto no-trade clause.
As Aldridge notes, a league-wide belief that the Lakers will land Iguodala doesn’t mean it will actually happen. There will also plenty of people around the NBA who thought Kawhi Leonard would become a Laker in the summer, and the Clippers ultimately closed that deal. The Clips – who were the only team besides the Lakers to receive a vote in Aldridge’s informal poll of execs – would presumably be in the running for Iguodala too.
Here’s more from Aldridge’s latest Athletic article:
- Kendrick Nunn‘s agent Adam Pensack tells Aldridge that he “pushed pretty strongly” in his attempt to get his client a 10-day contract with an NBA team last season. When that didn’t happen, Pensack and Nunn went looking for an NBA home once the G League season ended. The Kings brought in several players for a workout and told them they’d sign the best player in the group. Sacramento chose B.J. Johnson over Nunn, opening the door for the former Oakland standout to catch on with the Heat a week later. We explored that deal in more depth last week.
- Here’s more from Heat director of scouting Chet Kammerer on why the team signed Nunn and spent time developing him: “Coach (Erik) Spoelstra is big right now on having guys that are versatile, on guys that aren’t one-dimensional. It’s the fact we saw a couple of things. He was really versatile. He always seemed like a tough kid, physically and mentally tough. To me, he was hard to guard. When we played them, he found ways. It was tough to stay in front of the guy. He’s an attacker. He competes hard. He was a better shooter than all of us thought, too. You look at his percentages, and we said, ‘This is a guy can shoot the ball.’ You look at all of those things, and that’s a Heat guy, to us.”
- Despite the Kings‘ slow start, general manager Vlade Divac told Aldridge in a text message that he’s pleased with what he has seen from head coach Luke Walton so far. “Very happy with him,” Divac said. “His approach, communication and relationship with the players needs more time and he needs to learn about personalities but I really like what I see. It’s a process; can’t do stuff over night.”
- While the Wizards probably won’t be a playoff team in 2019/20, they’ve been fun to watch so far this season, which has rubbed off on the front office. “I actually like coming to work in the morning,” a senior member of the team’s staff told Aldridge.