Before the Grizzlies defeated the Pistons on Monday night, maintaining their hold on the No. 8 seed, a report surfaced suggesting that Andre Iguodala is preparing to sit out the season if he’s not traded to one of his preferred landing spots, or bought out. After Memphis’ win, forward Dillon Brooks weighed in on the Iguodala rumors, as Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal relays.
“Andre Iguodala’s a great player. I feel like he’s doing the right thing for his career, but we don’t really care,” Brooks said. “It’s not a distraction at all. I laugh at that type of stuff.
“A guy that’s on our team that doesn’t want to be on our team,” Brooks continued. “I can’t wait ’til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about.”
Iguodala was sent from the Warriors to the Grizzlies in a July trade as Golden State cleared salary to bring in D’Angelo Russell. Although that trade was a salary dump that netted Memphis a first-round pick, the Grizzlies are confident Iguodala can be flipped for positive value and has insisted all season long they plan to move him rather than buy him out. The team has until Thursday afternoon to make that happen.
The Grizzlies and Iguodala reportedly reached a mutual agreement in the fall to have him remain away with the team, so the front office has no issue with his absence, but it’s not hard to see why some Grizzlies players may share Brooks’ sentiment.
When Iguodala talked in September about the trade, he recalled predicting in the summer that he’d be moved to “Memphis or some s–t,” implying that it was among the worst possible outcomes. And even as the upstart Grizzlies have outperformed expectations and moved into the playoff picture, the former Finals MVP has shown zero interest in playing for the team.
While a few young Grizzlies players may be eager to show Iguodala what he’s missing out on, veteran forward Jae Crowder took a more measured stance, as Barnes details.
“I would like to keep a lot of stuff in-house but we respect what he’s done,” Crowder said of Iguodala. “He’s a Hall-of-Famer. In my eyes, he’s a Hall-of-Famer. He’s proven in this league, so as long as he handled it like a professional, I believe he is. … I would not say that he’s been a distraction at all. Like I said, he hasn’t been here. But we respect what he wants at this time of his career, and you have to respect it.”