Memphis has continued to insist in talks that they will trade Iguodala, sources say, and not buy him out — a blow to the Lakers, who would love to sign him as a free agent.
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Speaking of the Lakers (36-9), they would happily welcome Iguodala if he’s eventually bought out, but L.A. doesn’t have a clear path to the 2015 NBA Finals MVP and his $17.2 million salary, with no first-rounders to offer and valuable contributors Danny Green and/or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope necessary to make a trade cap-worthy. “We’re not buying him out,” an executive with the Grizzlies said. “We will trade him, period.”
The chances of that are getting sketchy, though. Two months into the season, the Grizzlies have not budged on their demand for Iguodala, an indication that they feel they’ll be able to make a worthwhile deal ahead of the February 7 trade deadline. “They haven’t budged,” one league executive told Heavy.com. “Maybe they will as the date gets closer, but they’ve made clear, they’re not interested in a buyout with Andre and they’re looking for a first-rounder. Teams have been trying. They haven’t let go of that. But that tells you they know they’ll be able to get something and won’t have to buy him out.”
The Nuggets have interest in Iguodala, who was briefly in Denver before leaving for the Warriors in free agency. Utah is said to be a longshot but a possibility for Iguodala—they’d have to give up on Dante Exum to get a deal done, as well as a pick in 2022 or 23. That’s a steep price for a few months of Iguodala.
The Memphis Grizzlies (9-17) already told teams they will trade Iguodala before the deadline. They have no intention to buy him out if he isn’t dealt. “That’s their position, at least for now,” one Western Conference executive said.
If Iguodala isn’t dealt, the Grizzlies would be persuaded to cut him before March to preserve his playoff eligibility. But one executive suggested he’d probably have to give up a sizable portion of the salary he’s guaranteed to earn in Memphis. “Iguodala would probably need to take a hit financially to join a contender if he isn’t traded,” the executive said.
[Wojnarowski] The message that Memphis has delivered to teams like the Lakers, Clippers and Rockets is that you’re going to have to trade for him [Iguodala]. We are not buying him out. He will not be on the free agent market.
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.
Memphis plans to wait on a buyout with Iguodala until February’s trade deadline. The Grizzlies are still holding out hope that a trade can be worked out and have been holding firm on their asking price of a first-round pick. If not, Iguodala will be cut loose from Memphis and free to sign with whomever he chooses—around the league, that’s expected to be the Lakers.
But there are still teams in the mix. All, according to speculation from league executives, are in the Western Conference. “He’s got more value in the West,” one GM told Heavy.com. “I can’t see a team in the East moving for him. He has the experience guarding LeBron and that’s what you want out of him. That and you want to keep him off the Lakers, you want their bench to be a weak spot. He doesn’t have those same kinds of good matchups in the East. You don’t want to put him on Giannis (Antetokounmpo) in a seven-game series, for sure.”
But the Grizzlies have yet to show interest in that deal and whether the Mavs would revisit the offer is a question. Sources indicate that the Mavs’ intent as the season progresses is to hunt for a piece with the trade exception they hold from the Harrison Barnes deal, worth $11.7 million. The Mavs can take on a player with a contract less than that value without giving up anything in return.
You have $50 to bet. Where does Andre Iguodala end up? I posed this question to multiple NBA executives Monday and Tuesday morning. Not all of them answered. But of those who did, every single one of them said the Lakers. “Best combination of ring chance and role,” one longtime team boss said. I thought someone would say the Clippers. None did. (Wait; just got one guy who says Clippers, but does so with no particular enthusiasm.) That means nothing, of course; the Clips stayed silent all through the KawhiStakes and wound up getting their man in large part because they kept their mouths shut. Also, there’s always a stealth team out there who sneaks into the mix.
Iguodala, meanwhile, is waiting for the Grizzlies to strike a deal. If Memphis can’t trade him by the Feb. 6 deadline, the expectation is that the sides will agree to a buyout — allowing the two-time All-Defensive selection to pick his next team. “Hopefully it happens sooner than later,” Iguodala told Hot 97.
Adrian Wojnarowski on Andre Iguodala: “It’s the two LA teams. It’s the Lakers and it’s the Clippers. If there is a buyout at some point and if Memphis can’t trade him, that’s where that will come down to those two teams. Memphis is willing to hold down to him, and Iguodala is ok with sitting right now.”
Omari Sanfoka II: Jenkins on the Iguodala situation: “Everyone’s in a good place.” No concern with the arrangement Grizzlies and Iggy reached last week, which will allow Iggy to stay home while Memphis explores the trade market
The Daily Memphian reported Monday that Iguodala and the Grizzlies agreed that the forward would not report to training camp while he waits for a trade or a buyout. While unlikely, it’s possible that Iguodala could return to the Warriors. If he’s traded again and receives a buyout from the team that acquires him, he could rejoin Golden State for the veteran minimum. “A lot of if’s, man,” Curry said of the possibility. But would he welcome the reunion? “What?” Curry answered rhetorically with a blank stare. “Of course, man.”
“At this point, the only buyout that makes sense — if I’m speaking on someone else’s behalf, thinking as an agent — is you don’t leave money on the table,” he says. “Especially in this league. Because you’ll never get it back, no matter what people say. Negotiations are a tactic, so you’ve got to be careful how you approach it, or how you verbalize what you would do going forward. But you can’t leave anything on the table.”
Andre Iguodala will not attend Grizzlies’ Media Day on Monday nor report to the team’s training camp under an arrangement reached between the two sides, according to team and league sources.
Iguodala will remain on the Grizzlies roster, likely well into the season. However, the team agreed the veteran can continue private workouts at a location of his choosing while Memphis pursues trades involving the former Golden State Warrior and NBA Finals MVP.
Iguodala is thought to be highly sought after by contending teams, but the size of his contract makes him somewhat difficult to trade. In keeping Iguodala for now, the Grizzlies are signaling that they believe a deal will materialize ahead of the February deadline.
Citing the business of basketball and insisting he’s always aware of that aspect, he says he was not surprised by the trade. But it’s evident he’s not exactly eager to join the Grizzlies. “We’ll see,” he says. “OK, maybe I shouldn’t say we’ll see. But we’re trying to figure out things on both sides. They’re trying to figure out some things, and I’m trying to figure out some things. As of today, we’re on the same page. Camp opens the next week. We’ll see. We’re on the same page, though.”
There has been talk of a buyout deal with the Grizzlies. There also have been reports that Memphis does not plan to go that route. Asked if a buyout still is possible, Iguodala neither confirms nor denies the likelihood. Rather, he states his position on the matter. “At this point, the only buyout that makes sense — if I’m speaking on someone else’s behalf, thinking as an agent — is you don’t leave money on the table,” he says. “Especially in this league. Because you’ll never get it back, no matter what people say. Negotiations are a tactic, so you’ve got to be careful how you approach it, or how you verbalize what you would do going forward. But you can’t leave anything on the table.”
The news that the Grizzlies are refusing to pursue buyout talks for former Warriors guard Andre Iguodala, first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic, has not exactly riled up the contending teams for which Iguodala would like to play. Most expect to “wait out” the Grizzlies, according to NBA sources.
“What the Grizzlies are doing, it is to be expected,” one league executive told Heavy.com. “They’re looking at him as an asset and they want to get something in return for him. He’s under contract, so they hold all the cards. The worst he can do is not show up and it is not like Memphis is going to be playing for a playoff spot. Him not showing up wouldn’t help anything. But if you’re on the outside, those teams, they’re just waiting it out.”
Shams Charania: Sources: Memphis wants three-time champion Andre Iguodala to report to training camp and is refusing right now to engage in buyout, which would prevent Iguodala from finishing a Hall of Fame career on his terms because this may be his final NBA season.
Shams Charania: Iguodala is VP of NBPA, one of league’s most respected and desires a contender at this stage. Young, rebuilding Grizzlies received a valuable 2024 1st from Golden State in Iguodala trade, and after Dwight Howard buyout, were expected to eventually have same talks with Iguodala.
I was asked on radio Monday morning what would happen with Andre Iguodala, and, well, who knows? Maybe Zach Kleiman. Not me. I wrote over the weekend that getting the equivalent of the veteran’s minimum contract in a Dwight Howard buyout set a baseline for a potential Iguodala buyout. But I think that was already the case. The Grizzlies were never likely to waive Iguodala at full cost. A buyout in which the team shaves a couple million or more from their salary cap obligations will remain an option until some other resolution is met.
Andre Iguodala, Grizzlies: For now, the Grizzlies don’t intend to give him a buyout and will try to retrade him. That is a reasonable strategy, though it may be unlikely for another team to take Iguodala at this salary and also give up an asset to get him. When the posturing is finished, there will be haggling over how much Iguodala may have to give up in guaranteed money to get out. He’s going to be available and numerous teams will be after him. The Lakers, where his old agent Rob Pelinka is the GM, are a strong option.
The Vertical: The Grizzlies do not plan to give Andre Iguodala a buyout and are exploring the trade market for him, per @Tim MacMahon. The Rockets and Mavericks are among the interested teams. pic.twitter.com/zyjUmwP4fZ
Andre Iguodala, Grizzlies: For now, the Grizzlies don’t intend to give him a buyout and will try to re-trade him. This is a reasonable strategy but it may be unlikely for another team to take Iguodala at this salary and also give up an asset to get him. When the posturing is over and haggling over how much Iguodala may have to give up in guaranteed money to get out, he’s going to be available and numerous teams will be after him. The Lakers, where his old agent Rob Pelinka is the GM, are a strong option.
The Memphis Grizzlies do not intend to give recently acquired Andre Iguodala a buyout before the season, league sources told ESPN. Memphis wants to explore the trade market for the former NBA Finals MVP before considering a buyout that would allow him to choose which contender he wanted to join, as the Grizzlies did with Kyle Korver. The Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks are among teams that have interest in Iguodala, according to league sources.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said the following on his radio show Monday: “He has basically — according to sources — informed everybody he’s going to work out a buyout and then go to the Lakers. “So Andre Iguodala is planning on joining the Lakers from what we’re being told. I don’t know how true that is, whether or not it is going to definitively happen. “But that is the plan at this particular moment in time.”
Tim MacMahon: Rockets would be among the teams with strong interest in Andre Iguodala if he receives a buyout from the Grizzlies, per sources.
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May 9, 2021 | 9:02 pm EDT Update
Tim MacMahon: Luka Doncic got ejected vs. Cavs — flagrant 2 for “an aggressive strike to the groin area” of Collin Sexton. That does not count toward Doncic’s technical total, so it won’t trigger an automatic one-game suspension.
James Ham: According to Luke Walton, he is going to play this season out with the team still mathematically in the postseason chase. He sees value in the team going through the process. Once they are eliminated, they will reassess.
Jason Anderson: Kings coach Luke Walton acknowledges Harrison Barnes (adductor) and De’Aaron Fox (health and safety protocols) might not return this season “if it doesn’t make sense” as the season winds down.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Kawhi Leonard said he has to get used to shooting with banged up hand. Asked about his ankle, Kawhi said, “Ankle’s good, it’s just more of me falling on my hand. Second, third play of the game, it’s frustrating, but other than that, I’m good. I’ve been through worse situations”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Andy Miller is joining @Klutch Sports to lead new division of representation for NBA coaches and management, CEO Rich Paul tells ESPN. Miller, an ex-player agent responsible for negotiating $2 billion-plus in deals, reps LAC’s Chauncey Billups, Toronto’s Nick Nurse, among others.
May 9, 2021 | 8:34 pm EDT Update
Duane Rankin: Frank Vogel said although it “looks unlikely” that #Lakers will reach top six to avoid play-in tournament, but is looking to give themselves “a chance” to do it. Losing to #Suns tonight certainly won’t help their cause. Talon Horton-Tucker (calf) game-time decision.