While the NBA trade deadline is exciting for fans, it’s not the happiest time of the year for players and executives. While professional sports are a business, feelings are always bound to be hurt. It doesn’t seem like that’s the case in Memphis, however, as the Grizzlies and Andre Iguodala both seem set to get what they want.
While both parties haven’t seen eye-to-eye this season, Thursday should be a good day for the player and the team. After things seemed poised to turn toxic, everyone is going home happy.
Andre Iguodala and the Memphis Grizzlies’ unique arrangement
In July 2019, the Golden State Warriors traded Andre Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies. The veteran forward, however, never suited up for his new team.
From the start, a stark reality was apparent. Iguodala didn’t want to play for the Grizzlies, and Memphis’ front office intended on trading away before the end of the season. The two parties worked out a deal; the forward didn’t have to be part of the team, and he was free to work out on his own.
As the trade deadline approached, though, things got more stressful. Since Iguodala’s desires to play elsewhere were publically known, Memphis wasn’t bargaining from a position of strength; opposing general managers stood pat, hoping the Grizzlies would get cold feet. New also broke that the veteran was willing to sit out the entire season if he wasn’t traded, which, unsurprisingly, didn’t sit well with his teammates.
Andre Iguodala and the Memphis Grizzlies both got what they wanted
Despite the publically simmering tensions, everything appears to have worked out for Andre Iguodala and the Memphis Grizzlies. While the finer details of the deal are still coming to light, it appears that both parties got what they wanted.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Iguodala will be heading to the Miami Heat; when he arrives in Florida, he’ll sign a two-year, $30 million extension with the club. That means he’ll get to join a contender and get a bit of stability without taking a significant pay cut.
Wojnarowski has also reported that Justise Winslow will be heading back to Memphis in return. While the forward has struggled to stay healthy this season, he’s still developing; assuming he can get over his injury bug, there’s still plenty of upside. If nothing else, he’s younger, cheaper, and willing to suit up for the Grizzlies.
Hardball or not, everyone goes home happy
As the trade deadline approached, basketball fans were divided between Andre Iguodala and the Memphis Grizzlies. Some felt that the team was holding a respected veteran hostage; others believed the front office was well within their rights in waiting for the best deal. At the end of the day, though, everyone went home happy.
Despite not playing all season, Iguodala got a nice payday; he’ll now return to his preferred role as the veteran presence on a contending team. The Grizzlies also came out ahead. The club received a protected first-round draft pick when they agreed to take on the forward’s contract; less than a year later, they got another asset—Wilsow—for trading a player who held no value to them.
The process might have been a bit messy, but Andre Iguodala and the Memphis Grizzlies both got what they wanted at the trade deadline. It’s hard for either party to be unhappy about that.