The NBA trade deadline is often mired in speculation and uncertainty. One thing that is clear this year is that Andre Iguodala will have a new home on or around the February deadline.
Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in the summer in a cap clearing move by the Golden State Warriors. The veteran has not played at all this year, both sides agreeing that he will wait to latch on to a contender.
Several teams are expected to be interested in the former Finals MVP as a secret weapon for a playoff run. Some of those teams – namely, the Los Angeles Lakers – will be hoping that Iguodala is bought out of his current deal (which expires this summer) so they can sign him as a free agent.
Throughout this process most have speculated that the Grizzlies would not let him go without getting an asset back in return. Two weeks before the deadline, that does not appear to have changed, according to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus:
“We’re not buying him out,” an executive with the Grizzlies said. “We will trade him, period.”
At this point it seems highly unlikely that Iguodala will have his say on where he will sign. Consequentially, that means it’s highly unlikely that he will join the Lakers who could significantly use his services. The Lakers have a lack of assets and a lack of large tradeable contracts to facilitate such a move. The only hope is that no other team will succumb to the Grizzlies’ pressure, knowing they will have a chance to sign the forward as a free agent if he’s not traded.
The Lakers have stayed busy during trade season, most recently being mentioned as a suitor for Robert Covington who could provide some of the same basketball skillset as Iguodala. Whether a significant trade happens will largely depend on the team’s willingness to part with young forward Kyle Kuzma.