DALLAS - The reason DallasBasketball.com can confirm the Tuesday ESPN report that links the trade-minded Dallas Mavericks to Andre Iguodala is because it's exactly the story we broke regarding a pursuit of the in-limbo Memphis Grizzlies veteran a few months ago.
In fact, the only thing ESPN really got wrong here is that the network seems to be "speculating'' about the idea, when in fact, it's not speculation at all; Dallas made an offer, as we reported exclusively on July 10.
An as-we-wrote-it update: The Mavs' long-standing desire to shed themselves of Courtney Lee has manifested itself in a trade offer from the Mavs to Memphis that would send Lee and a second-round pick to the Grizzlies in exchange for veteran standout Andre Iguodala, sources tell DallasBasketball.com.
The Grizzlies' so-far response, DBcom has been told, is that they are unwilling to take on the ballast of Lee's $12.759 million salary in such a deal.
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The Mavs (suddenly a contender wishing to give help to Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis) would love to employ Iguodala in the starting lineup or off the bench, where he was so helpful to Golden State during its title run before the Warriors recently salary-dumped him to Memphis, who have no plans to use him. (He is in limbo there, employed but not really part of the team.)
Iguodala is in the final year of a contract that pays him $17,185,185 in 2019-20. At age 35, his career is at its horizon, of course. Iguodala last season averaged a career-low 5.7 points in 68 regular-season games. But the 6'6" wing was an NBA Finals MVP, twice an All-NBA Defense team member and he's played in an All-Star game. When free agency opened he was deemed expendable by the Warriors when they were able to engineer a sign-and-trade for young All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell. Yes, he's at the end -- the Warriors followed up the trade by announcing that they would retire his number -- but so is his contract, which expires after this season.
Can Dallas keep this deal alive? The Mavs can pay $5 million in cash as a sweetener, thus saving Memphis $9.4 million from where it currently stands ($5 mil from Dallas and $4.4 mil being the difference between Lee and Iggy). So while Dallas can feel it "wins'' the trade, Memphis can do the same, as the Grizzlies' net would be the Warriors' first-round pick they received with the Iggy trade along with a Dallas second-rounder, all for the cost of paying Lee about $7.7 million.
Sources tell us that Dallas (during the summer) was close to unloading Lee on a few occasions, including an almost-done deal on draft night. Lee, 34 and a salary-dump inclusion in the Mavs' trade last February for the Knicks' Porzingis, was likely a prospective piece in the Dallas-Memphis talks that eventually resulted in the Mavs acquiring point guard Delon Wright via sign-and-trade.
The concept was alive enough in July to produce a trade offer. Now that ESPN's gotten a hold of it? We politely suggest that it's being "re-born.''