Memphis Grizzlies: Was the Andre Iguodala trade the right move?

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /
Miami Heat
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images /

With the 2020 trade deadline fast approaching, the Memphis Grizzlies took a big gamble by sending off Andre Iguodala. Now, nearly three months and one season hiatus removed from the move, does it hold up?

The saga of Andre Iguodala was one of the biggest storylines for the Memphis Grizzlies over the first half of the season.

From the team not bending to Iguodala’s request for a buyout to Iguodala revealing that, on the day the Golden State Warriors traded Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets, he texted his wife joking that Golden State was probably going to send him to, “Memphis or some (expletive)” , it was just abundantly clear that Iguodala was not going to stay and play for Memphis.

But, this all begs the question: did this trade work out in Memphis’ favor? While initially the answer might be a resounding yes, it’s not quite as simple as that. Remember, Memphis was actually having a pretty great season up to that point; they were 26-25 at that point and had already gone on a seven-game win streak and a four-game win streak, and had gone 15-5 in their last 20 games before the trade deadline. And while Iguodala’s salary was a burden on the team, it would have only affected the Grizzlies for this season.

On February 6th, one day before the trade deadline, the Grizzlies traded Solomon Hill, Jae Crowder, and Andre Iguodala for their part in a three-team trade that saw the Grizzlies receive Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, and Gorgui Dieng. Later on in that day, the Grizzlies gave Dillon Brooks a three-year, $35 million dollar contract extension, which would not have been possible with Iguodala on the books. Winslow was later released.

So, on the one hand, it may seem like dumping Iguodala was a smart move, as it allowed Memphis to keep Brooks under contract. However, it’s likely that Brook would’ve signed with Memphis in the offseason anyways, and the Grizzlies could’ve ended up offering him more money, as at that time Memphis was dealing with Winslow, Dion Waiters, and James Johnson‘s contracts.

In the Grizzlies attempts to rid themselves of Iguodala, Memphis also had to part ways with Hill and Crowder, who would’ve been great wing players; especially Crowder on the defensive side of the court.

Ultimately, while the trade might not have worked out for the Grizzlies in the immediate aftermath, Memphis got a player in Winslow who could be a reliable top-mid- to top-tier player if he stays healthy, as well as a backup big man that they were in desperate need of in Dieng, as well as keeping a great homegrown talent like Brooks at home.

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The trade, which might have been cause for despair as it happened, will almost certainly play out for the Grizzlies in the near future.