Since the Golden State Warriors decided to part ways with veteran forward Andre Iguodala, there has been much chatter about where he could wind up next. The talk of that has centered around him joining either one of the teams in Los Angeles, especially the Los Angeles Lakers, but there hasn’t been much movement on that front in the last few months. With that in mind, at least one NBA executive believes there is one reason why Iguodala may not end up on the Lakers.
Warriors move off Andre Iguodala
Following their fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals, the Warriors went through much change to their roster over the offseason. That included them parting ways with former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala to clear up cap space to acquire All-Star point guard D’Angelo Russell.
It saw the team ship him to the Memphis Grizzlies, where he has yet to play a single game for the franchise in hopes of getting bought out or traded to another team. There hasn’t been any significant movement on that front, but both Los Angeles teams have been circled as the most likely landing spots.
The Lakers have been more of the forefront of that picture due to their connection with general manager Rob Pelinka being Iguodala’s former agent while there is the opportunity to join a potential title-contending team. However, there hasn’t been any notable movement towards a deal getting done due to the high asking price that the Grizzlies have placed on a trade offer while things are no closer to a buyout.
There could also be another possibility at play in this situation that at least one NBA executive believes has halted this move.
The one possible holdup in Andre Iguodala becoming a Laker
On paper, things would look to be inevitably headed toward Iguodala wind up on the Lakers once he is bought out by the Grizzlies. At the same time, there doesn’t appear to be any real traction or hurry from Memphis to get this process done.
There is also no guarantee that he will wind up with that Los Angeles team, in which one NBA executive believes there is a huge factor at play that could prevent that from ever coming to fruition, according to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.
“He’s got more value in the West,” said the GM. “I can’t see a team in the East moving for him. He has the experience guarding LeBron and that’s what you want out of him. That and you want to keep him off the Lakers, you want their bench to be a weak spot. He doesn’t have those same kinds of good matchups in the East. You don’t want to put him on Giannis (Antetokounmpo) in a seven-game series, for sure.”
The Lakers have become a powerhouse in the stacked Western Conference behind a team that looks to be a title contender. The addition of Iguodala could put them over the top with a multi-NBA champion that has the reputation as being one of the best defenders in the league, along with making big plays in crucial moments.
The fact that he has much experience and success guarding LeBron James is another reason why teams like the L.A. Clippers or Houston Rockets would make a strong run at him to keep him away from the team. There are undoubtedly many benefits for the rest of the league to have him remain away from the Lakers.
Where will Andre Iguodala end up?
Beyond the Lakers, there is plenty of interest around the league in Iguodala, given his pedigree and what he brings to the table.
Los Angeles will be the frontrunner to land him once he is bought out by the Grizzlies as they still have one remaining open roster spot. The connection with Pelinka could be the critical factor in getting him to join the team as Iguodala holds his former agent in quite high regard.
The Clippers could have a say in this all while the Rockets continuing to play well could lead to them being considered a possible landing spot. There is much that could change in the coming weeks, but it’s hard to deny the Lakers as being the favorites to land him.