The Grizzlies have unloaded plenty of big contracts for older players this past year in pursuit of draft picks and bolstering young talent, so keeping the 35-year-old vet and his $17+ million salary on the books isn’t ideal. Still, instead of just buying him out and letting him find his next home on his own, the Grizz have other plans.
Filed to ESPN: The Grizzlies do not plan to give Andre Iguodala a buyout before the season and are actively exploring the trade market for the former Finals MVP, per league sources. Rockets, Mavs among teams with interest.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) July 4, 2019
The Houston Rockets unfortunately don’t have the space to bring on his big contract and give the Grizzlies what they want: draft picks. Instead, they’d have to explore unloading Eric Gordon or P.J. Tucker’s contract to Memphis. In theory, they could make the money work, but, on the court, it only works if Houston keeps its roster as is and brings on Iguodala for depth.
Another thing worth mentioning is that the Grizzlies have had their newly acquired player for only six days. This sentiment of “no buyout” is not truly a guarantee — just Memphis trying to get the most out of trade. There’s also the possibility of Iggy getting traded to a non-contender like Dallas, not playing a significant role, finds himself on the waiver wire, and ends up playing for a team with a chance of winning a title — like Houston.
Who’s to say? Probably just wishful thinking.
If the Rockets are smart, they’ll play the waiting game with Memphis and get the best deal possible for him, possibly even signing him for the veteran’s minimum. Adding Iguodala would be great, but there’s no need to be desperate early.