While NBA teams are entrenched in preseason and ready to start the year with the rosters they have set, one player in particular remains just out of reach of title contenders hoping to sign him as an added boost to their talented squads.
Andrew Iguodala, who was traded as a salary dump for the Warriors to be able to sign D’Angelo Russell, remains on the Memphis Grizzlies roster despite the young team having no aspirations for a playoff run yet as they move to a new era. Many have expected Iguodala to eventually get bought out as the Grizzlies could save some money in agreeing to one (like they did with Lakers center Dwight Howard) but the transaction has not yet occured and it’s unclear if it will in the near future.
Skipping past that step, however, leaves the question of where Iguodala will land if he is indeed bought out by his current team. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the forward would be choosing between the two Los Angeles squads, the Lakers and the Clippers, if he does not get traded or stays with the Grizzlies all year (h/t RealGM).
While this is a positive sign for the Lakers whose playoff ceiling would be raised significantly by adding the former Finals MVP’s versatile defense and playmaking, it also increases the stakes. Letting Iguodala go to the Clippers would be a devastating blow to the Lakers who surely see their crosstown rivals as their biggest threat to winning a title even before signing the three-time champion.
The Lakers, of course, have a bit of an inside track as the team’s general manager, Rob Pelinka, formerly represented Iguodala as his agent. That said, the Clippers and their formidable front office are a major threat to the Lakers’ desire to add another weapon to their arsenal.