Andre Iguodala hasn’t played in an NBA game since suiting up for the Warriors in last June’s Finals, but he sounds ready to return to action. During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (video link), Iguodala said he’s feeling refreshed after a long layoff.
“It’s been a blessing in disguise, in terms of having this time off. I think it’s added some years to my career,” Iguodala said. “… When you wake up in the morning in January for the last 16 years and you’re looking for the pain like, ‘Oh, there it is,’ and then you don’t have that. So it’s kind of been good.
“I’ve been on the court, I’m in shape. I’m kind of slim, so I could use, like, three-and-a-half pounds of muscle,” he added. “It’ll take me a couple days to put that on. But I’m ready to get back on the court.”
When the Warriors overhauled their roster during the 2019 offseason, Iguodala was a victim of a cap crunch and was shipped to Memphis along with his $17MM expiring contract.
Iguodala apparently had little interest in playing for the Grizzlies and Memphis’ front office was fine with him remaining away from the team, even as the young roster exceeds expectations and contends for the No. 8 seed. However, the Grizzlies still believe the former Finals MVP has positive trade value and insist they plan on moving him by the trade deadline rather than buying him out.
With February 6 now less than two weeks away, it may not be long before we know where Iguodala will finish the season. Assuming the Grizzlies are right that they can find a trade, that would reduce the list of potential landing spots for the veteran, who will turn 36 on Tuesday. The Lakers, for instance, would be a top contender for Iguodala if he reaches free agency, but don’t really have the salary-matching pieces necessary to trade for him.
For his part, Iguodala believes he can still make a positive impact on a contending team, as he told ESPN’s First Take hosts.
“I feel like I still have a lot to give,” Iguodala said. “So hopefully the right situation comes about for myself and the Memphis Grizzlies as well.”