That’s not for lack of smoke about such a move. Several players think Iguodala would head to the Lakers if he was bought out. Multiple executives believe the same. Iguodala even live-tweeted the fourth quarter of a Lakers game to bring the speculation to a crescendo, but so far, the Grizzlies have shown no inclination to actually let Iguodala pick his next destination.
For one, the Grizzlies have specifically told the Lakers they won’t buy out Iguodala, and that no matter how much the Lakers would “love” to get him, there is “no world” where they just let him go for nothing. It’s also unlikely that the Lakers can make a trade for Iguodala work, cap-wise.
That’s unfortunate for them, because the Grizzlies’ mindset doesn’t seem to have changed with just weeks to go until the trade deadline, as based on what one member of the Grizzlies front office told Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report, Iguodala hitting the buyout market seems unlikely (h/t Honi Ahmadian of Lakers Outsiders):
“We’re not buying him out,” an executive with the Grizzlies said. “We will trade him, period.”
Now, this could all just be elaborate posturing on the part of the Grizzlies to try and get the Lakers and other teams to offer them more for Iguodala, but given the Lakers’ limitations in the trade department, that’s probably unlikely.
But okay, fine. Let’s just allow the possibility for a second that all of this is BS, and that the Grizzlies will eventually let Iguodala go. Even if they do buy him out, during an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take,” Iguodala didn’t exactly sound like a man who has decided between the two L.A. teams:
Andre Iguodala talks about Lakers & Clippers— Lakers Empire (@LakersEmpire) January 24, 2020
Would he rather go to a team he fits or a team that could really use him? pic.twitter.com/bDeilMDhVq
It’s possible all of this is just posturing as well — why reveal a preference when you don’t know where you’ll end up? — but when you add it all up, it paints the scenario of Iguodala ending up a Laker as an increasingly unlikely one. We’ll see if that changes, but the Lakers may just have to be happy with what they have for now.