With less than a month until the start of 2019-20 NBA regular season, there is no end to the Andre Iguodala saga in sight, to the chagrin of most Lakers fans.
While the Grizzlies no longer expect the 35-year-old forward to report to training camp, according to Chris Herrrington of the Daily Memphian, they’re still not interested in negotiating a buyout with Iguodala. Instead, the Grizzlies have informed Iguodala that they’re going to try and trade him, even if it takes until the trade deadline in February.
For teams like the Milwaukee Bucks and Orlando Magic — who can’t trade their hefty, newly-signed contracts until Dec. 15,— that’s good news, but it makes no difference for the Lakers, who will have a hard time trading for Iguodala at any point of the season.
The Lakers signed five players to “1+1” deals in free agency: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Quinn Cook and Avery Bradley. Of those five players, three of them re-signed with the Lakers, giving them an implicit no-trade clause for the 2019-20 season because a trade would require them to forfeit their Early Bird Rights in free agency.
So, while a trade package involving Caldwell-Pope and Bradley would technically work after Dec. 15, Caldwell-Pope would have to sign off on it, which isn’t likely unless he’s desperate to get out of Los Angeles. The same can be said of any deal involving McGee’s trade-friendly $4 million salary.
The only way the Lakers would be able to execute a trade for Iguodala without approval from one of their players is if the package included Danny Green, whose $14.6 million salary works in a straight swap for Iguodala. That being said, it’s highly unlikely the Lakers would be willing to part ways with their starting shooting guard for a non-shooting reserve who probably won’t play more than 20 minutes per game next season, even if said reserve would be a perfect fit in their second unit.
If the Grizzlies can’t find a workable trade involving Iguodala and the two sides agree to a buyout, the Lakers should do everything in their power to sign him as a free agent. If he doesn’t, they’ll have to look elsewhere for help on the wing.