A couple of rumors have swirled the past week that the Clippers were going to get Andre Iguodala today. Not to cast aspersions on anyone’s sources, but it always seemed unlikely that the Clips would land Iggy at this point in the NBA calendar.
It’s true that the championship veteran is currently on the awful Grizzlies, a situation that probably doesn’t inspire the competitive juices in him. The Clippers, meanwhile, are one of the favorites to win the championship, and have a deep, veteran roster of players that Iguodala presumably respects. And it’s also true that the Grizzlies have incentive to get Iguodala where he wants to go — they have no desire to have an unhappy player souring the mood of a young, rebuilding team. Essentially, the Clippers could use Iguodala, and the Grizzlies don’t have much a need for him. The seeds of Iggy switching between the two teams are certainly in place.
However, the Clippers want Iguodala for a reason — because he’s one of the most proven playoff performers in the NBA today. Considering that, as well as his easily movable contract, Iggy is a clear asset in terms of trade value. There’s just no way that the Grizzlies give him up for nothing. They will be able to get something back if they trade him, even if it’s just a couple second round picks, and that’s quite a bit better than nothing. That price could even go up as the season goes along, particularly if a contender has an injury and their desire for Iguodala correspondingly grows.
The Grizzlies also have no incentive to trade Iguodala right now, unless he has informed them that he’ll make trouble if he doesn’t get moved before the season begins. There have been no rumors about such a request, and Iggy doesn’t seem like the type to force a trade like that anyway. Even if he does, the Grizzlies can tell him that they’ll look for a trade and try to move him as soon as possible, but that they won’t take a below-market deal this early. The Grizzlies have made some smart moves lately, and it doesn’t appear likely that they’ll bungle the opportunity to flip Iguodala at the opportune moment.
There’s certainly a reasonable chance that Andre Iguodala ends up on the Clippers this year. It’s a move that makes a ton of sense for both sides — the Clippers get another perimeter defender and offensive initiator, while Iggy gets another shot at a ring — and doesn’t have many barriers to success. The Clippers, if push comes to shove, certainly have the assets (Moe Harkless’ expiring deal and a couple 2nds or a protected 1st) to get a deal done, and the Grizzlies are not rival contenders that wouldn’t want to strengthen an opponent. However, what doesn’t make sense is the Grizzlies giving up Iguodala for nothing before the season begins when they can generate a bidding war for him at the trade deadline. Basically, while it’s not impossible that Iggy is on the Clippers in the next month or two, it’s far more likely that he is acquired by the team once the season is already well underway.