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Grizzlies ‘refusing’ to discuss buyout with Andre Iguodala, reportedly expect him to come to training camp

Those of you waiting on Andre Iguodala to come and save the Lakers’ wing rotation may be waiting at least a while longer, because the Grizzlies don’t want to let him go.

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2016 NBA Finals - Game Seven Photo by Joe Murphy /NBAE via Getty Images

Ask nearly any NBA fan who their dream addition to round out their team’s roster would be right now, and almost all of them that gave a reasonable answer based on the players who could realistically become available will say Andre Iguodala.

The problem is that the Swiss Army Knife, former Golden State Warriors wing is currently stuck on the Memphis Grizzlies roster after an offseason salary dump that allowed the Warriors to sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell.

And if you’re thinking to yourself “the Grizzlies! Aren’t they that team that helps the Lakers assemble contenders and/or buy out players to help L.A. fill out its bench needs?, well, you’re half right. Unfortunately for the Lakers — and several other teams who could use Iguodala — the Grizzlies are less willing to buy out the veteran forward than they were with Howard, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic:

On one hand, it makes sense that Iguodala wants to pick his next — and potentially final — destination. He didn’t choose to join the Grizzlies, and seemingly thought they would buy him out. On the other hand, though, it’s not that surprising that a small-market team like Memphis doesn’t want to pay a still-valuable veteran like Iguodala just over $17 million to not play for them.

If Iguodala really wants out right now, he basically has two options: Take substantially less money in exchange for his freedom to pick another team, or try to shame and pressure the Grizzlies into giving him what he wants. Based on the phrasing of the report above making sure to paint Iguodala as a victim and Memphis as being unreasonable, it would appear Iguodala’s camp has chosen the second door.

Here’s where we can put our tin foil hats on and make things interesting if we connect some dots. This “report” dropped the same day that it was leaked that the Lakers applied for a Disabled Player Exception for DeMarcus Cousins, which could potentially be the first step towards the team cutting him (or another player) to free up a 15th roster spot, a spot Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka has said the team wants to keep open for players who are bought out.

Iguodala will have no shortage of suitors, and some who can offer him more than the Lakers can, but it’s at the very least worth noting that he is represented by Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports Agency, aka Pelinka’s former agency. Iguodala is a former client of Pelinka’s himself, as it happens, and was publicly singing the praises of his former agent as recently as this summer.

Does this mean the Lakers have Iguodala in the bag as soon as he gets bought out? No, probably not, and it sounds like it’s not even a sure thing he’s bought out anyway. Still, it’s worth noting all the connections and coincidences here, because it’s at least possible it all might mean something sooner or later. Probably later, at least until the Grizzlies change their position.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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