With Thursday’s NBA trade deadline fast approaching, few players are more sought after than Andre Iguodala. The former Finals MVP has sat out all year after being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in a salary dump.
Now, he’s threatening to sit out the rest of the year as well. With the Grizzlies adamant that they will trade him rather than buy him out, the veteran forward is threatening to sit out for the rest of the year if he’s not traded to one of his preferred destinations, according to The Athletic’s David Aldridge:
Per league sources, Andre Iguodala is prepared to sit out the rest of this season if Memphis isn’t able to orchestrate a trade with one of the agreed-upon teams he designated by Thursday’s trade deadline.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) February 4, 2020
While Aldridge doesn’t list Iguodala’s preferred targets, it’s been previously reported that he wants a move to LA, be it with the Clippers or the Lakers. The Lakers, in particular, are an almost impossible trade partner given the salary matching requirements to acquire him.
So, it seems pretty clear that Iguodala is using his last trump card to try and force his way to LA. In a sense, he is attempting to scare other teams from giving up too much for a player that may not ever report to them. If he makes it past the trade deadline, he is betting that the Grizzlies would buy him out and he could then choose the team of his liking.
Of course, that’s easier said than done and it would be hard for him to just not report to another potential contender because it’s not the Lakers or Clippers.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Grizzlies do with Iguodala and whether any teams will be willing to give up major assets to get him; so far things have been mostly quiet.