Memphis Grizzlies

Why would the Grizzlies give in to Andre Iguodala?

Andre Iguodala only wants the Grizzlies to trade him to one of a handful of teams. The simple truth is that Memphis doesn’t owe him that courtesy.

When the Grizzlies acquired Andre Iguodala this summer he made it very clear he didn’t to play a single minute of basketball for his new team. That decision robbed him of the right to dictate terms to the Grizzlies about where he might be traded to in the future.

Nonetheless, Iguadola and his representatives are trying to make sure he’s only dealt to a team on their list of acceptable destinations. That list hasn’t been made public in full, but it’s safe to assume that both Los Angeles teams are on the list. Iguodala is exceedingly comfortable playing in California and values the long-term business contacts he can cultivate in the market.

Miami is another team that has been connected to Iguadola in recent days. It’s believed he would also accept a deal to South Beach. Iguadola’s representatives are attempting to exert pressure on the Grizzlies franchise to make a deal with one of those select teams.

The right course for first-year general manager Zach Kleiman and his staff is to stand up to Iguadola and his representatives. They don’t owe the player any special consideration. Iguodala was well within his rights to turn down the chance to play for the Grizzlies, but in doing so he also forfeited the ability to choose his next destination.

Instead, the Grizzlies and Iguadola are now engaged in a game of high stakes poker. Iguodala is emphatic that he won’t play for Memphis this season under any circumstances. Ironically, he’s just the sort of veteran wing that could really help Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr. and the rest of the young Grizzlies solidify their run towards a playoff spot. He’d definitely be an upgrade over Jae Crowder or Kyle Anderson on the wing.

The aforementioned young Grizzlies corps aren’t in any mood to welcome Iguadola into the fold though. Dillon Brooks, for one, is chomping at the bit for Memphis to deal the veteran wing to a competitor. Brooks relishes the opportunity to show Iguadola “what Memphis is about.”

The recent acrimony between the current Grizzlies roster and Iguadola only reinforces the idea that he’ll never play a minute for Memphis. The only options available to him and the Grizzlies front office are to trade him, buy him out, or let him run out his contract without playing for anyone this season.

The obvious choice for Memphis is to trade him without any concern for where he’d like to go. In a perfect world, the Grizzlies could find a way to turn Iguadola into another first-round pick. They already received a first from Golden State to absorb his salary this summer. Turning him into another first-round pick of any quality would be a coup for Kleiman and his staff.

The more likely outcome is that the Grizzlies will be forced to accept multiple second-round picks in any Iguadola deal. That is still a net win for the franchise. Remember, Iguadola hasn’t done anything for Memphis this season except cash checks. Any tangible asset they receive for him ahead of the trade deadline is a positive.

Iguadola’s dream scenario is for Memphis to simply buy him out. He’d likely be willing to sacrifice a little salary to hit the buyout market. The Grizzlies should remain steadfast in their refusal to grant him this measure of self-determination.

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Instead, Memphis should be prepared to keep him on the roster just long enough to prevent him from joining another team ahead of the playoffs. Some might call that a spiteful move, but it’s what Iguadola deserves. He’s the one who refused to play for the Grizzlies. Expecting them to do him a solid favor now is strictly fantasy. Memphis’ front office needs to show Iguadola what they are all about by dictating terms to him.

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