One thing that was made crystal clear in the opening night loss to the L.A. Clippers was that the Los Angeles Lakers desperately need help on the wing. Out of that sheer desperation, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was asked to guard Kawhi Leonard at times, and it played out exactly like you’d imagine.
According Jackie MacMullan of ESPN during an episode of “The Hoop Collective Podcast,” that help would be on its way if the Memphis Grizzlies weren’t being so stubborn with Andre Iguodala (h/t Lakers Outsiders):
“He’s going to the Lakers. I’ve had four different players tell me that. Every player I talk to tells me that.”
Oh come on.
On one hand, Iguodala is seen by several teams as the key to getting over the hump this season. He’s a respected veteran who understands how to defend and has done so in huge moments throughout his career. So of course Memphis is holding out hope that some team gets so desperate for his services that they offer up anything of value just to make sure they land him.
On the other hand, COME ON, MEMPHIS, STOP BEING JERKS ABOUT THIS.
The Grizzlies probably should’ve known they weren’t going to be able to get much for Iguodala when they acquired him, seeing as they landed a first-round pick for merely taking on his salary as the Golden State Warriors were trying to get anything in return for Kevin Durant (they would eventually land D’Angelo Russell).
Now they’re trying to avoid eating a large chunk of his $17 million contract, and also would like to receive something in return for such a potentially impactful player.
If it comes down to trading for Iguodala, the Lakers, a) would have to wait until December 15, when all the contracts they signed this summer can be traded and, b) don’t quite have deals that add up to that $17 million figure. As they’re over the cap, they’d have to come within come close to matching that total.
They could combine Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Rajon Rondo and either DeMarcus Cousins or Avery Bradley, but Caldwell-Pope and Rondo both have inherent no-trade clauses because of the types of deals they signed, so they can veto any deal they don’t like, making them being shipped out unlikely at best.
So basically the Lakers will have to hope that no team makes a legitimate offer for Iguodala and that the hole on the wing doesn’t bite them too hard while they wait for him.
Come on, Memphis. Just get this done already.