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Lakers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Andre Iguodala, Avery Bradley Injury

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Andre Iguodala #9 of the Golden State Warriors speaks to the media during practice and media availability as part of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 12, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

For Andre Iguodala, the wait may finally be over.

Since being traded to the Memphis Grizzlies from the Golden State Warriors this past summer, Iguodala has made it clear that he wanted out.

Problem was, the trade market to move the swingman was threadbare and the Grizzlies preferred to play the long game, choosing to wait until their options were more plentiful for deals over buying him out.

But all of that will change on Dec. 15, when the NBA lifts the trade restrictions on the players who signed with teams this past offseason as free agents.

With the board opening up, will Iggy finally be headed to the Los Angeles Lakers?

According to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor, Memphis will trade the 35-year old veteran, it's just a matter of when and to whom.

The Lakers, of course, prefer that Iguodala be bought out, but O'Connor reported that "there's no world in which that happens."

Luckily for L.A., though, O'Connor's source revealed that the Grizzlies are all ears to all deals, including ones that feature players with long-term salaries.

So there's hope, but very little because the Lakers have already mortgaged their young talent and have a dearth of valuable trade assets after sending their 2021 and 2024 first-round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans in the deal for Anthony Davis.

Additionally, they can't move their pick for 2022, 2023 or 2025 because of the league's "Stepien Rule," which designates that teams can't deal future first-round selections in consecutive years. 

They will also have a problem making the outgoing money match for Iguodala, who is owed $17 million this year.

Teams like the Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, L.A. Clippers and Houston Rockets might try to throw their hat in the ring for the former 2015 Finals MVP, but the purple and gold still have a shot. 

"The Lakers are still the favorite," one GM told Sean Deveney of Heavy.com. "Someone's going to have to make a risky move for a 35-year-old to make a trade work. Who's going to do that?"

Chances are, Iggy's former agent Rob Pelinka and current Lakers' general manager, is willing to do it.

"They feel like he could be an X-factor type of guy to add with the group they already have," ESPN's Dave McMenamin said on SportsCenter back in July.

The Grizzlies have allowed Iguodala to be away from the team since he landed in Memphis.

And while he hasn't played since last year's Finals against the Toronto Raptors, he's been working out on his own.

During the Warriors playoff run last season, Iguodala averaged 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game.

Avery Bradley Set to Return?

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Avery Bradley #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Charlotte Hornets on October 27, 2019 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downlo
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images

The Lakers (21-3) have the best record in the Western Conference, but their defensive rating has slipped to sixth-best in the NBA at 103.5.

That stat could be trending the other way, though, with the return of defensive ace Avery Bradley.

According to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Bradley will play Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic after working out with teammates on Tuesday.

The 29-year old guard will reportedly be restricted to 20 minutes of playing time as a precaution.

Bradley has missed the past 13 games with a hairline fracture in his lower right leg.

He was cleared by the team's medical staff for full contact after being re-evaluated this past Saturday.

With Bradley back, L.A. can re-institute head coach Frank Vogel's "Avery Challenge."

"Avery Bradley has really a one-of-a-kind ability to just set a tone defensively with his tenacity in picking the ball up full court," Vogel told Tania Ganguli of the L.A. Times. "And just everybody understands you can’t dribble the basketball around the guy. So I think that just impacts the overall energy of the group, and I think our guys have worked hard to overcome that."

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope took Bradley's starting role while he was sidelined, but it's unclear if or when he'll be back with the first unit.

Vogel, of course, is looking forward to having Bradley on the floor to cover the opponent's best perimeter player.

"Just having another elite defender out there, it just puts some more pressure on everything else," Vogel said. "It changes the matchup. KCP is now guarding the starting unit’s best player, rather than coming in [with the second unit] — and a lot of teams come in with a great second-unit scorer. And Alex is assuming that role. So it just affects your depth."

Through 10 games, Bradley is averaging 9.6 points, 3,2 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest.

Maurice Bobb covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow Maurice on Twitter, @ReeseReport.