There are about 10-12 teams entering the 2019-20 NBA season that believe they have a realistic shot at an NBA crown. For the first time in a long time, things feel wide open in the title picture.
It will make this year’s trade deadline more fascinating than ever, as elite teams jockey for position in obtaining players that can get them over the hump. Grizzlies forward Andre Iguodala will be one of those coveted players despite his advanced age.
Iguodala is seen around the league right now as a modern day Robert Horry, someone with championship experience and the perfect glue guy with veteran leadership qualities.
The Grizzlies will not be buying out Iguodala’s contract as first thought, as Zach Kleiman knows he can drive up the market for the veteran this winter.
Teams expected to be vying for Iguodala’s services are the Lakers, Celtics and Sixers. The Lakers and Celtics desperately need an upgrade on the defensive end – particularly the Lakers who will have to deal with Kawhi Leonard on the wing.
The issue, of course, is that the Lakers do not have much in the way of assets after unloading all that talent on the Pelicans in the Anthony Davis trade.
The Celtics could offer the best package, and the Grizzlies would love to get their own first round pick back from Boston. But it’s unlikely that Danny Ainge would part with that valuable asset in order to add someone who will be 36 years old this coming January.
Part of the reason the Celtics were so dysfunctional last season was that they had too many mouths to feed. They were too deep.
If the Celtics were to make a move for a veteran like Iguodala, they would be trading players not picks.
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As for the Sixers, there was a report back in 2017 that said Philadelphia was interested in bringing Iguodala back to the franchise that drafted him. Iguodala is also a huge fan of Joel Embiid as he has said the big man has the highest upside in the NBA.
The Sixers now have Al Horford in the fold, but they could use a little more veteran leadership. The issue in a trade for Iguodala for the Sixers would be what they could offer Memphis in return. Elton Brand has high hopes for 2018 first round pick Zhaire Smith, and it’s unlikely that he would swap the 20-year-old with a boatload of potential for what would likely be a half of a season for Iguodala.
Finally, we’ll take a look at the Warriors chances of bringing iguodala back.
Bob Myers had to ship Iggy to Memphis in order to clear cap space for D’Angelo Russell. Myers and the Warriors would obviously love to have Iguodala back in the fold but NBA collective bargaining rules prohibit a player from being traded back to a team or signing with the team that just traded them until a full year has passed. The only way he would be able to go back to Golden State this season is if he is traded twice. That’s highly unlikely, but one team to watch in all of this jockeying is the Thunder, who are stockpiling assets to flip at the deadline. Sam Presti could help facilitate a trade involving Iguodala and a third team. It would be difficult to pull off, but it’s far from unprecedented.