With the NBA Trade Deadline quickly approaching this Thursday, one of the biggest questions that has not yet been answered is what the Memphis Grizzlies will end up doing with Andre Iguodala. Ever since the Grizzlies acquired him this summer this assumption has been that teams that want him should just wait until after the trade deadline when the Grizzlies buy him out and then acquire him instead of trading away an asset to the Grizzlies. Today I will take a look at why I think the Grizzlies should not buy out his contract regardless of what happens between now and the end of the trade deadline.
As soon as the news came out that the Grizzlies and Andre Iguodala had agreed that Iguodala would not report to camp nor be with the team at all this season I had mixed feelings. I never thought that Iguodala would actually play for us but the fact that he came out a stated that he didn't want to play for the Grizzlies including mocking the Grizzlies basically in an interview really did it for me. Once it was clear that he didn't want to be here, I felt that the result of the meeting that Iguodala and his camp initiated was the best course of action.
The Grizzlies would take a hard stance saying that not only would they not buyout Iguodala but any trade for him would have to include a first-round pick coming back to them as well. It was also reported today that the Grizzlies are adamant about not buying out Iguodala even if they do not find a trade for him at the deadline.
I am confident that the Grizzlies will find a trade destination for Iguodala by Thursday's deadline but in the event that they don't, I fully support them not buying him out and just letting his contract run out while he is still on our roster. The Grizzlies have a new front office this season led by Zach Kleiman and yes perception matters as far as the whole "holding Iggy hostage" narrative is concerned but it also matters how you look as far as being a pushover is concerned. The Grizzlies organization has long been known for being one that is easy to manipulate and one that always makes a bad move. This is the first opportunity to come out and say, no - we are not the same front office.
My Take On Not Buying Out Iguodala's Contract
Would it be controversial? Yes. They would probably get killed for it by national media but they told teams all along that if you want him that you would have to trade for him and I totally support that decision. Let players and front offices know that this is a new era in Memphis and you won't force our hands and we will not be bullied by national media pundits. What would it look like for a team that is contending for a playoff birth to buyout a player for him to go to a team like the Lakers, that could likely be the Grizzlies first-round matchup?
I would be disappointed if the Grizzlies are not able to trade Iguodala basically because I would like to see what assets they can acquire for him but in the event that they are not able to I would much rather he watch the NBA playoffs, and possibly the Grizzlies from his couch and not someone else's bench.