What the Iguodala news says for the Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Memphis Grizzlies (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Memphis Grizzlies have recently made it clear that they have no plans on buying out Andre Iguodala’s contract. What does this mean for his future, and what does this mean for Memphis?

The Memphis Grizzlies have recently made their intentions clear about not wanting to buyout the rest of Andre Iguodala’s $17.2 million contract. After almost an entire summer of the NBA community assuming that Iguodala wouldn’t see a home game in Memphis during 2019-2020, everyone, including Iguodala himself, has to prepare for the reality of him playing at least part of the upcoming season with the Grizzlies.

With training camp coming up at the end of the month, and Iguodala being expected to attend, the question remains: what does this all mean?

Well, first, it’s hard to imagine why people thought that Memphis would simply buy Iguodala out. Sure, it’s nice to give a potential Hall-of-Fame player the choice of where to go in what could be his last season, but that’s about the only reason to do a buyout. A player like Iguodala still has immense value to add to almost any team, and the Grizzlies could turn him into a few key building pieces during this awkward phase.

Now, Memphis has the power to move Iguodala to where the important pieces will be. Not just that, but the Grizzlies know that there are plenty of teams chomping at the bit just waiting for the chance to get their hands on a talent like Iguodala:

Still, while this might be the best move for the Grizzlies in the long-run, it certainly won’t endear them to Iggy or any of his fans; nor will it make them look good to fans around the league who believe in treating veteran players with respect.

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The decision does have the chance to present some serious unintended consequences. First, Iguodala could simply give up. By most reports, he wants to play for a contender in his final season, and it’s plausible to understand that, as he’s entering his 16th season, Iguodala may take the 2019-2020 season easy to afford him one more year in the league. He could end up in a situation similar to that of Andrew Wiggins in Minnesota; a star player who became frustrated with the organization, and is no longer playing up to his ability.

Another consequence of keeping Iguodala is that you could end up diminishing his value. If he does play to his best ability and simply can’t keep the floor moving, then Iguodala’s value could drop below the $12 million needed to make a single-player trade possible.

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One way this could happen is that he could simply play below what people thought his skill-level was. Iguodala is already coming off of his worst statistical season in his career, and if he takes another dip, then Iguodala’s trade value could go down as well.

Another way his trade value could go down is with an injury. At 35 years old, if Iguodala gets an injury, especially to the lower body, then it may never heal right, and it would bring his value down again.

Because of all of this, it wouldn’t be any surprise to see reports that Iguodala is unhappy in Memphis. This could end up as an Anthony Davis scenario too. If Iguodala makes clear his intention of wanting to leave, the Grizzlies could look to trade him sooner rather than later.

So, with Iguodala still on the books, Memphis will most likely hold onto him until Dec. 15, when all the players who were signed in free agency will become legal to trade. Until then, what happens between Memphis and Iguodala is almost entirely up to Iggy.

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If Iguodala picks himself up after the disappointment of staying in Memphis, and he plays to the level we saw last season with the Golden State Warriors, then finding him a new home come December should be easy. But if he starts to act out, or the Grizzlies go into the season without a plan, then it would have been better to just buy him out, and build through the draft.