Now that the #FreeIggy movement has died off some, let’s examine the Andre Iguodala situation. As you probably know, Iggy was sent our way by the Golden State Warriors in a trade during the height of this offseason’s free agency, the former Finals MVP cast off by the Dubs to make room for D’Angelo Russell’s sign and trade from the Brooklyn Nets to help offset the loss of Kevin Durant.
This frantic move from the Warriors actually turned out to be a blessing for the Grizzlies. Memphis had a large traded player exception that was created with the Mike Conley trade, meaning that the Grizz had the cap space to absorb Iggy’s contract without sending back matching salaries or other assets. The Warriors also sent a lightly-protected first round pick that will convey in 2024 at the earliest.
This trade leaves Iggy in a sort of purgatory for the time being. Memphis doesn’t make sense in terms of a playing standpoint, Iguodala is well-respected vet who probably doesn’t want to spend a year mentoring the young guys the Grizzlies roster is mostly made up of. But unfortunately for Iggy, as well as some of the bigger market teams and their fans, (looking at you, Los Angeles) Memphis isn’t going to buy Andre out when they think they can flip him for additional assets/players. If some of these teams like the Rockets, Lakers and Clippers want him, they are going to have to trade for him and here we will look at a few possible destinations and why they would or wouldn’t be a good fit.
The Grizzlies receive: Eric Gordon, 2023 2nd round pick, Rockets receive: Andre Iguodala
This trade is a straight up swap with enough incentive to get Memphis to consider. Eric Gordon would be a valuable sharpshooter off the bench for a team that can use all the three-point shooting they can get, and with Gordon’s contract in it’s final year, the Grizz don’t get locked into any long-term money. The second round pick gives a little extra incentive and is frankly all that Houston would probably be willing to give up right now seeing as how they owe the Thunder a few future first rounders from the Westbrook trade.
Any hesitation on this deal would most likely come from Houston’s end. Eric Gordon is a valuable part of that team, the scoring punch/shooting he provided both in the starting lineup and in previous years coming off the bench makes him a key part of this team - he won the Sixth Man of the Year award in 2017.
Iggy is a good player on both ends of the court, but isn’t as talented in terms of just being able to get buckets as Gordon, making this a situation in which Houston has to decide which is more important: instant scoring or having a guy to help defend the Kawhis, the PGs, and LeBrons of the West.
Los Angeles Clippers
The Grizzlies receive: Mo Harkless, Jerome Robinson, Clippers receive: Andre Iguodala
If the Grizzlies hadn’t signed Tyus Jones, I would have preferred getting Landry Shamet over Robinson. That being said, Robinson fits the mold of the type of players the Grizzlies have targeted under this new front office. Robinson is only only one season removed from being a 20 points per game scorer at Boston College, and with the right situation could rediscover the game that led Los Angeles to taking him with the 13th overall pick in the 2018 draft. Shooting guard is an area that the Grizzlies could do well to improve and giving Robinson a shot certainly couldn’t hurt. Throwing in Mo Harkless to match salaries and you have a solid deal.
The incentive for LA is somewhat obvious. Not only would you be pilfering a player who both the Lakers and Rockets have expressed great interest in, but having Iggy, Kawhi Leonard, Patrick Beverley, and Paul George on the same team has limitless defensive potential. The Clippers might be hesitant to part ways with Robinson, considering they already traded away Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and when you have multiple max contracts on your roster, it’s easy to fill out the rest of the team with rookie deals and veteran minimums. But the potential here would be well worth the risks and could help the Clippers seperate from the pack in a crowded West.
I almost picked the Dallas Mavericks for this spot, but the thought of Iguodala returning to the Nuggets now that they are ready to compete is too poetic. It also helps that Denver has more to offer in terms of actual value than Dallas in my opinion. Sending Andre back to Denver for perhaps, Malik Beasley and Mason Plumlee is a trade that would be mutually beneficial. All three players are on expiring deals, so neither team gets tied down by long-term contracts unless they so choose. Beasley is obviously the big prize for Memphis. He really came into his own last season and could be ready to take another step in perhaps a more promintent role. Mason gets the added bonus of being reunited with his brother Miles and Iggy returns to a Nuggets squad seemingly knocking on the door of contention.
Obviously Denver might be hesitant to part ways with Beasley after a season of solid improvement, but when you consider that Malik will be a restricted free agent after the season, shipping him off to Beale Street avoids the possibility of having to match a bloated offer should some other team decide to pursue Beasley.
The Grizzlies should have multiple suitors for Iguodala, and with no rush to trade him before training camp, have the luxury of sorting out the market to find the best possible deal, which has what this new front office has spent the entire offseason up to this point doing. Kleiman and co. have earned the trust of Grizzlies fans everywhere and we believe that they will continue to rebuild the Grizzlies the right way.