As we approach next month’s NBA Trade deadline, I’ll be doing a series of posts examining players who the Clippers could be pursuing in trade negotiations. I’ll cover a wide range of potential targets, including players the Clippers have been linked to in rumors, players who I think would make intriguing targets, and players who I have been asked about by readers. Haven’t seen a breakdown for a player you think the Clippers should pursue? Ask me to add him to the list!
Player Name: Andre Iguodala
Position: Small Forward
Age: 35 (turns 36 on January 28th)
Stats: Last year: 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game in 23.2 minutes. Career 33% 3PT shooter. 145 Career playoff appearances, including 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 30 minutes per game last post-season with Golden State.
Contract: Expiring contract for $17,185,185
Impact on Clippers: Moderate
Andre Iguodala is a guy that pretty much any playoff team would want on their roster. He’s a smart, well-rounded, experienced player who has filled all sorts of roles in his career: an All-Star, a 20-point-per-game scorer, an All-Defensive 1st teamer, a sixth man, a three-time champion, and an NBA Finals MVP. Wing players reign supreme in this era of the NBA, and Iguodala will give whatever team acquires him an extremely trustworthy post-season performer on both ends of the floor (despite his typical pedestrian three-point shooting, he always seems to hit the back-breaking shot in the big moment).
For the Clippers... that actually isn’t a huge priority. Don’t get me wrong, Iggy would probably be on the floor for plenty of big moments if he came to the Clippers, but they’re a rare team that already has two superstar wings in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Iguodala is the kind of guy teams target when they don’t have superstar wings and need to prepare to face a team like the Clippers in the playoffs. But a hypothetical Beverley-George-Iguodala-Leonard quartet would be an incredibly strong small-ball lineup to close playoff games, and while Iggy wouldn’t help the Clippers sort out their center rotation, he’s a fully capable point forward and distributor who would grease the wheels of a sometimes-sticky Clippers offense. Still, because Iguodala would be the fourth-best defender in that lineup, it’s fair to question how much better the Clippers would be with him compared to Landry Shamet, a less well-rounded player who is a sniper from beyond the arc.
One wrinkle to consider maybe isn’t how Iguodala would impact the Clippers’ roster, but that trading for him would block competitors from doing so. Like I said, he’s the kind of guy a team would target to prepare for a playoff series where they have to face Leonard and George. If the Clippers get Iguodala, it means that teams like the Rockets and Nuggets didn’t, taking away one of those teams’ best options for gearing up for a potential Clippers series.
Likeliness of Availability: Guaranteed
Andre Iguodala is on the market, and he’s going to be traded before the league’s February 6th deadline. It’s not entirely clear where, but this year, deadline buyers far outnumber sellers. With most of the league still hopeful for the playoffs, there are any number of teams who could talk themselves into making a play for Iggy.
At just over 17M, in order to take Iguodala back in a deal, the Clippers would have to send out Maurice Harkless and one of their medium-sized contracts (either JaMychal Green, Rodney McGruder, or Jerome Robinson). But that wouldn’t be enough value for the rebuilding Grizzlies, who have been steadfast in their commitment to keep Iggy from contenders unless they are adequately compensated. The Grizzlies may or may not end up getting a first rounder for Iguodala, but they’ll get some kind of draft compensation. The Clippers have their own 2020 first round pick as well as a couple of valuable second-round picks from Detroit in 2021 and 2023—but the cupboard is relatively bare, and it might be prudent to hang on to what picks the Clippers have left instead of getting caught up in a bidding war for Iguodala.