Lakers Rumors: Latest on LA, Rockets & Clippers' Pursuit of Andre Iguodala Trade

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2019

Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) against the Phoenix Suns during an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, March 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are set to begin the 2019-20 NBA season on Tuesday night against the cross-town Clippers. Unfortunately, the Lakers won't be at full strength for the season-opening contest.

Forward Kyle Kuzma has been dealing with a stress reaction in his foot throughout the preseason and has been ruled out. Guard Alex Caruso is dealing with a pelvic bone contusion and is considered day-to-day.

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After additional testing, Alex Caruso (bone contusion, pelvis) is considered day-to-day.

Of course, this is just Game 1—and the Clippers will be without Paul George—so these early-season injuries are not cause for concern. Fans should be more concerned with how the lineup and the overall roster shape up moving forward.

Head coach Frank Vogel said the Lakers are still a work in progress:

"Everybody's excited to get the season started, but we know we're nowhere near where we want to be—most teams aren't. So, even though it's regular season, these games are going to be very much like preseason games. We just try to get better and win as we're getting better and getting to learn each other, learn the systems, learn our identity and also how to play other teams and other team's identity."

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🎥 Frank Vogel gives an injury update on Kyle Kuzma and talks about when he'll decide on Opening Night starters. https://t.co/bZGqFZ6S5A

There's a chance that part of what the Lakers learn is that they need additional depth on the roster. They'll have an opportunity to add it before March 10, as Los Angeles has been granted a disabled player exemption for DeMarcus Cousins.

Could that exemption help pave the way for the acquisition of Andre Iguodala? It's entirely possible, particularly if the Lakers are willing to trade for him.

Marc Stein of the New York Times reported over the summer that the Lakers were interested in adding Iguodala if and when he received a buyout from the Memphis Grizzlies. However, the Grizzlies informed Iguodala that they plan to trade him rather than release him, according to the Daily Memphian's Chris Herrington.

Naturally, this means that Iguodala doesn't have a final say on where he ends up, though he will likely have input. According to Herrington, Memphis and Iguodala have a "mutual understanding" about his future. That understanding could involve Iguodala playing a role in any trade decisions.

If this is the case, then the Lakers should be in good shape—assuming they're still in the market when the time to make a deal comes. The Lakers and the Clippers are on Iguodala's shortlist, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

"It's the two L.A. teams," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on the Lowe Post podcast"It's the Lakers, and it's the Clippers. If there is a buyout at some point and if Memphis can't trade him, that's where that will come down to those two teams. Memphis is willing to hold on to him, and Iguodala is OK with sitting right now."

With the Clippers also in the mix, the Lakers may be interested in dealing for Iguodala simply to keep him away from their cross-town rivals.

Los Angeles won't have to worry about Iguodala landing with a different Western Conference rival, however. According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the Houston Rockets are no longer interested in acquiring him.

"The Rockets discussed different scenarios to acquire Andre Iguodala from the Memphis Grizzlies in July, but elected not to go that route," Charania wrote.

For now, Lakers fans should look forward to watching how the current roster plays and develops in the early season. However, Iguodala's situation will likely linger in the background for as long as he remains in Memphis.