The 2019-20 NBA season with the Los Angeles Lakers has started better than anybody expected and that’s without Andre Iguodala, who many felt would be a necessary addition for them.
Iguodala remains with the Memphis Grizzlies where he’s just sitting and waiting for either a trade or a buyout.
Iguodala was traded to the Grizzlies from the Golden State Warriors when the latter traded for D’Angelo Russell and it was immediately clear that he had no plans to play games in there. However, instead of the usual buyout, the Grizzlies have stuck to their plan of holding on to him in the hopes they can trade him for assets.
Perhaps one of the reasons for this is the ‘nearly universal’ belief held by insiders that Iguodala will sign with the Lakers if bought out by the Grizzlies. However, the Los Angeles Clippers remain in play via a trade, according to Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Andre Iguodala continues to loom in the background, waiting to be traded out of Memphis or bought out around the February trading deadline. Insiders are nearly universal in their prediction he signs with the Lakers in a buyout scenario, but the Clippers have a ton of depth. They could trade for Iguodala and make their best-in-the-conference defense even more formidable.
This is not the first time the Iguodala to the Lakers story has been reported as pretty recently, it was a “universally held” belief among executives the match would eventually be made:
But the notion that Iggy to the Forum Blue and Gold seems to be so universally held a belief could certainly impact how hard other teams engage the Grizzlies in potential trade talks.
The Grizzlies appear they’ll want to hold out as long as possible before giving Iguodala the buyout he desires, and it likely won’t be until after the 2020 NBA trade deadline that he could the Lakers if he really wants to do so.
The Grizzlies are simply hoping that somebody — namely a contender — will be willing to trade real assets before the deadline thinking that Iguodala is the missing piece. And while it’s possible that he is the missing piece for multiple contenders, there is no team that fits him as perfectly as the Lakers.
At the end of the day, the Grizzlies are playing this well as there’s no need to buy him out right now when he could still be traded. But the entire NBA world still believes that he eventually ends up in the purple and gold.