With 2019 NBA free agency underway, the Los Angeles Lakers are patiently waiting for Kawhi Leonard’s decision.
Although most All-Star and some role players have signed elsewhere already, Leonard is worth waiting for as one of the three best players in the league right now — at worst.
While the wait can be frustrating, the Lakers have signed Troy Daniels and Jared Dudley and are also getting a better idea of who will be available after Leonard’s decision.
One potential and surprising name is Andre Iguodala, but there appears to be a roadblock to Los Angeles by the Memphis Grizzlies, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN:
The Memphis Grizzlies do not intend to give forward Andre Iguodala a buyout before the season and are actively exploring the trade market for the former Finals MVP, league sources told ESPN. The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are among the teams with interest in Iguodala, sources said.
With Iguodala being general manager Rob Pelinka’s former client, there was speculation about signing with the Lakers if he were ultimately bought out, according to MacMahon:
It was widely speculated that Iguodala would land with the Los Angeles Lakers if he received a buyout. Rob Pelinka was Iguodala’s agent before he became the Lakers’ general manager, and Iguodala would likely be eager to join a contender.
In perhaps the most surprising move of the offseason, the Golden State Warriors traded Iguodala to the Grizzlies in order to land D’Angelo Russell from the Brooklyn Nets.
At this time, it would not be surprising if there is posturing between Iguodala and the Grizzlies amid potential buyout negotiations. As the Grizzlies want to save as much money as possible, they could be gaining leverage by trading him.
As the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are in pursuit of Iguodala, it will be interesting to see what ultimately happens. If the Lakers are able to sign him to a veteran’s minimum deal, it would be an unexpected addition.
For the Lakers, they are currently waiting on Kawhi Leonard’s decision. While they have missed out on some steals to begin 2019 NBA free agency due to this, there are still good players available and Iguodala could be available.