Memphis Grizzlies: Pros and Cons of Keeping Andre Iguodala

Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Con: Reputation with Stars

This is a bit of an abstract variable, but Memphis’ reputation with star players is low-key really damn important. Unlike teams in huge markets or tax-free havens, the Grizzlies need to carefully curate their perception among the league’s best, in order to have any hope of competing to keep them.

While seemingly a trivial factor, the decision to prevent Iguodala – the NBAPA first vice-president – from choosing his own fate in his career’s twilight could sour some. It also doesn’t necessarily help matters that Iggy’s being forced to slog through a rebuild initially, rather than putting in reps with a competitive team.

There are two silver linings here:

The first being that Iguodala is a mortal lock to be dealt to a contender. Memphis would take a PR hit in dealing him to another rebuild, but those teams will want nothing to do with a $17 million 15-year veteran. He’ll land in the type of situation he’d have sought on the open market.

The other is that Memphis bought itself a ton of goodwill league-wide recently, setting Marc Gasol up to win an NBA title, and putting Mike Conley in a spot to possibly do the same. Those trade scenarios fortunately happened to make sense, but the Grizzlies came away having done very well by their franchise pillars.

Despite these factors, hard-balling Iguodala for future assets could count against Memphis among the NBA’s elite. Especially given his role in the NBAPA, any perceived slight could hold more water in the future.

In a superstar-driven sport, where the best players are now flexing power and taking exception in ways never before conceivable, every edge counts. This is especially paramount for small-market teams like the Grizzlies, who are handicapped by default.

Saving a few dollars by letting Iguodala walk could have been a mututally-beneficial situation. The hope for the Memphis Grizzlies is that the return from holding and then trading him will be worth the minor and temporary setbacks.