From the moment Andre Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies, most assumed he would never play a minute there.
During the 2019 NBA offseason, the belief was Iguodala would likely be bought out and the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers were the most likely destinations.
For the Lakers, the interest in Iguodala makes perfect sense. Though the team is on an outstanding run to start the 2019-20 NBA season, they could undoubtedly use Iguodala’s skills down the stretch and into the 2020 NBA playoffs. Unfortunately, the chances of that seem to be getting slimmer by the day.
The most recent report was the Grizzlies were telling teams Iguodala wouldn’t be bought out. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, that remains the case as there seems to be no chance he is bought out, much to the Lakers chagrin:
As much as the Lakers would love for Iguodala to get bought out, I’m told there’s no world in which that happens. The Grizzlies will trade Iguodala—it’s only a matter of when and to whom. According to a source, Memphis is open to any type of trade package, including deals that bring back a long-term salary.
This is a tough break for the Lakers as they simply don’t have the trade capital necessary in order to acquire Iguodala. Because of the nature of their contracts, JaVale McGee, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Rajon Rondo all have de facto no-trade clauses and the team gave up a number of draft picks in the Anthony Davis trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.
It’s unfortunate as Iguodala would be a perfect fit for this team. The Lakers could really use another big wing defender for the likes of Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Luka Doncic. After Green, the next options would be Caldwell-Pope or Alex Caruso. Though both are solid defenders, they lack the size to battle with those types of wings.
The Lakers could still be on the lookout for ways to improve the roster and they will surely scour the buyout market once it heats up, but the Iguodala ship seems to have sailed for good.