The Memphis Grizzlies have been holding on to Andre Iguodala since they acquired him in the offseason with the hopes of trading him to a contender and collecting an additional asset.
The Grizz have been adamant that they’ll deal the 36-year-old, as opposed to buying him out, but they haven’t found a suitor yet three days before the Feb. 6 trade deadline.
As recently as December, Memphis was intent on yielding a first-round pick in any Iguodala trade, a semi-problematic request given that the biggest market for his services are contending teams heavy on title aspirations but light on draft assets.
To this point, the Grizzlies haven’t panicked and sold their asset for less than they wanted to, despite the fact that they’re not getting any on court production out of him while they wait.
The two parties agreed in the offseason that Iguodala would work out away from the team. Seven months later, not much has changed and tension has grown.
David Aldridge of The Athletic reported today that the veteran is prepared to sit out for the remainder of the 2019-20 season if he’s not dealt to a team of his preference.
That means despite the fact that the Grizzlies are a respectable eighth in the Western Conference, the option of pivoting from trading Iguodala to retaining him and playing him on their own squad is all but off the table.
The threat also compromises Memphis’ leverage in discussions with teams around the league that aren’t on Iguodala’s list of “designated” destinations given that there’s a risk he wouldn’t happily report.
Of course Memphis and interested teams are only bound to honor Iguodala’s requests if they wish to have an amicable transition.
Formally, players begin to face serious consequences if they withhold playing services for more than 30 days in a contract year, as is laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The Grizzlies may do damage to their reputation by not attempting to work with Iguodala and that’s a subjective conversation that will invariably be had if he doesn’t end up getting traded somewhere he prefers.
Memphis stepped up to the plate when the Nets and Warriors were configuring the sign-and-trade deal that landed Kevin Durant in Brooklyn and D’Angelo Russell in Golden State.
The Dubs wouldn’t have been able to afford Russell without unloading Iguodala on Memphis and it cost them a 2024 first-round pick.
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