Iguodala Trade Season

With the NBA trade deadline looming ahead of us at 3pm EST Thursday, the rumour mill around the league has been running non-stop in recent days. One of the more prominent players that is certainly on the trade market is none other than the Golde… I mean Memphis Grizzlies’ own Andre Iguodala. 

Ever since Memphis acquired him this off-season in a GSW salary dump, Iguodala has been chilling and playing golf in sunny California. He has been away from the Grizzlies on a mutually agreed upon deal where the two parties desired to be both mentally and physically out of sight.

The Grizzlies front office has shared that they do not plan to buy out the former NBA Finals MVP and are seeing a first round draft pick or substantial young talent in order to move the veteran wing. 

Iguodala’s value as a 35 year old comes from his savvy defense, which has been his calling card. All of the teams who would be willing to take on a hefty 17 million dollar expiring contract are teams that fancy themselves as NBA championship contenders. The idea behind Iguodala’s services is that he provides an experienced player who can stifle opposing All-NBA wings in the playoffs — think Kawki Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LeBron James.

The outcast gets picky

On Monday night, things heated up surrounding Iguodala and this report surfaced saying that he is prepared to sit out the season if he isn’t traded to a team on his preferred list. 

Does anyone else out there think that this is ridiculous?

He’s getting paid millions of dollars to sunbathe and take up a roster spot, and now he is trying to dictate on his own terms where he wants to work. I get it that most of us get the opportunity to choose where we work…but I would imagine that none of you reading this are given millions of dollars on an annual basis for that work. If you are, then please DM me for the opportunity to purchase shares in an up-and-coming blog. I’m sure our EIC won’t mind.

#GrzNxtGen speak out

Ja Morant came into the NBA gunning. Gunning for any and everyone. No one is below him, a quote that he said he lives by, even MVP Steph Curry. Morant continued to send off additional tweets to explain that even though he was and is a fan of Steph, that doesn’t mean that he can’t stand up to him. 

Honestly, the Warriors traded away a first round draft pick just to get rid of Iggy. TO GET RID OF HIM. Can that not be any clearer? The team that Curry still plays for ditched his friend and teammate for salary cap freedome. Maybe he should focus on that. 

If things get too out of hand with Iguodala and he tries to pull too many strings, a scenario that former Grizzlies VP John Hollinger pointed out could be his future. 

Let’s look at some potential landing spots for Iguodala, not in any particular order.

HOUSTON

According to Woj, the Rockets are looking to land a wing player for their roster. It was speculated that Iguodala could be high on their target list but that Robert Covington was the prime candidate. 

The rumoured price for Covington was two first round picks, but that deal escalated into a 4-team massive trade that was the largest total trade since Patrick Ewing was sent to Seattle in 2000 (according to Woj). The Rockets have had success with a tiny sample size of full-game small ball this season and are going to roll with it moving forward.

The Rockets have $12mm available in space to add another player before the deadline. Since they got their main man in Covington, I would be hard-pressed to see them still wanting Iggy. They will look for a big-bodied center o hedge against Jokic and others in the playoffs.

DENVER

With the Rockets likely off the trade board for Iggy, Denver might be a team that steps up and inquires about him.

According to ESPN, in the massive trade deal “Denver gets Houston’s 2020 first-round pick; the Nuggets are expected to be active offering it in deals to continue upgrading a roster that is third in the Western Conference standings.”

An Iguodala trade to Denver could be centered around center Mason Plumlee or forward Jerami Grant. This would leave Denver without an immediate backup center, but that might be a position they look to fill via the upcoming buyout market or in a separate trade. 

DALLAS

Despite the above tweet by Stein, many are speculating that a deal has been placed on the table that would send Courtney Lee and the Warriors’ 2020 second round pick to the Grizzlies for Iguodala. Dallas lost center Dwight Powell to injury recently and are looking to fortify their roster is a playoff run behind their two young stars in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

LA CLIPPERS

The Clippers have been aggressive, no surprise considering they have the $11.5 million Mo Harkless contract and a first round pick to deal. Considering if LA doesn’t trade the pick it can’t deal another one until we colonize Mars, there is some urgency in the LA front office to get a deal done. The Clippers have kicked the tires on Kevin Love and could grab disgruntled Kings center Dewayne Dedmon, but neither are preferred options. There is some interest in Tristan Thompson in LA’s front office, per sources, as LA’s coaching staff has fretted about the team’s rebounding, particularly when Ivica Zubac is off the floor. Wing depth is a consideration for the Clippers, with Robert Covington and Iguodala among the possibilities discussed.

Sports Illustrated

The Clippers have long been one of the most obvious choices as a landing spot for Iguodala, and with Covington now in Houston, it might be time for LAC to make a move.

MILWAUKEE

The Minnesota Timberwolves, several league executives say, are looking for the lofty price tag of two first-round picks for versatile forward Robert Covington. And one league source says the Memphis Grizzlies offered Andre Iguodala to the Milwaukee Bucks for the 2020 protected first-round pick they acquired from Indiana in the deal that sent point guard Malcolm Brogdon to the Pacers last summer. While adding Iguodala’s playmaking ability, postseason pedigree and defense to the team with the league’s best record is tantalizing, it would be a Rubik’s Cubesian challenge to construct a deal that would allow Milwaukee to absorb his $17.2 million contract. 

Ric Bucker of Bleacher Report

Some of the higher earning players who could be on the trading block for Milwaukee who they might make available for an Iguodala deal include George Hill, who is earning 9 points and three assists in 21 minutes per game. Hill is owed 9.1mm this year and 9.5mm next season. Ersan Ilyasova is also a viable trade candidate who is earning 7mm this year and is on a non-guarantee contract for 2021. The veteran is playing 16 minutes per game and putting up 7 points and 5 rebounds. If Milwaukee is working to avoid moving the aforementioned first round pick, guard Donte DiVencenzo would be an interesting addition to the trade. The Big Ragu is scoring 9 points and grabbing 4 rebounds per game and is on the second year of his rookie contract. 

MIAMI

Leaked via a tweet by Shams, the Miami Heat are now a potential suitor for Iguodala. 

What does Miami have to offer that the Grizzlies would be interested in? Well, the Heat don’t have a plethora of draft picks to leverage, with their best draft asset being their first round pick this summer. This pick projects to be in the 20’s as the Heat have the fourth best record in the East currently.

With Iguodala’s contract of 17mm posing a salary matching obstacle, there are a few players who could get the Heat there. Former Grizzly James Johnson is earning 15mm this year and has a player option worth 16mm next season, which he will likely opt into considering he is in his thirties now and his value on the open market would be far less than that. Where he would fit within the current construction of the Grizzlies roster would remain to be seen. He had some issues with being in playing shape earlier in the season, but he could provide value in several lineup constructions including in a small-ball big man role similar to where Solomon Hill has been utilized several times this year.

Other salary matching options include capable outside shooting center Kelly Olynk (12.6mm this year, 13.1mm player option next year) and versatile guard Justise Winslow (13mm per year through ‘21 and a team option for an additional season after that). 

What would be the biggest win for the Grizzlies is if they could negotiate rookie stud Tyler Herro in any deal. Herro would provide another legitimate outside shooting threat for the Grizzlies. He is shooting 39% on 5.5 attempts per game so far in his young career. With that kind of production, it might behoove the Grizzlies to even offer back draft compensation to the Heat if that would help persuade them to part with Herro. With Herro being on his rookie contract, there would be even more cap space available for Memphis to bring back both De’Anthony Melton and Dillon Brooks, who will command a decent to high price this summer. 

With Herro being a super long shot for the Heat to deal, maybe Pat Riley would be willing to part with Duncan Robinson, who has burst on the scene with a bang and is shooting 43% percent from three on 7.7 attempts. That is a much more likely trade addition. Robinson’s contract is around 1.5mm this season and is non-guaranteed next season.

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