Andre Iguodala Rumors: Lakers 'Would Love' Buyout; Grizzlies Will Opt for Trade

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: Andre Iguodala at LinkedIn on June 25, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Mendez/Getty Images)
Jason Mendez/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers "would love" for the Memphis Grizzlies to buy out veteran swingman Andre Iguodala, but there's "no world in which that happens" this season, Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reported Tuesday.

According to O'Connor, the Grizzlies are only going to move Iguodala via trade and are "open to any type" of offer, including proposals that feature long-term contracts.

Memphis acquired the three-time NBA champion from the Golden State Warriors in July. He's yet to make an appearance for the Grizz, but that's by design.

In September, Chris Herrington of the Daily Memphian reported Iguodala and the front office had reached a "mutual understanding" that he could continue to conduct private workouts away from the franchise to stay game-ready while the team sought a trade.

There was little reason for the 35-year-old veteran to play for a rebuilding team. The Grizzlies, owners of a 7-16 record, viewed the 2015 NBA Finals MVP as a prized trade chip to help accelerate their retooling process.

Iguodala told Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area before the start of training camp the sides were on the "same page" and that he only wanted a buyout if it was financially wise.

"At this point, the only buyout that makes sense—if I'm speaking on someone else's behalf, thinking as an agent—is you don't leave money on the table," he said. "Especially in this league. Because you'll never get it back, no matter what people say."

The 2004 first-round pick is in the final season of a three-year, $48 million contract. His base salary and cap hit for the 2019-20 campaign are both $17.2 million, per Spotrac.

That's why the Lakers, who are $11.5 million over the salary cap, would prefer a buyout. Otherwise, they would have to get creative in terms of matching salaries and giving up other assets, likely draft picks, to get a deal done with the Grizzlies.

Iguodala would give Los Angeles additional wing depth, playoff experience and leadership to help take pressure off LeBron James.

It's not a make-or-break situation for the 21-3 Lakers, however. They may continue to play a cat-and-mouse game to see if Memphis buys out the former Warriors standout if there are no serious offers before the NBA trade deadline in February.