Memphis Grizzlies standout rookie Ja Morant said Wednesday he traded direct messages with Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry after they exchanged barbs about Andre Iguodala on social media:
Morant explained there's still "mutual respect" between the two point guards despite the recent spat.
The situation was sparked by a report Monday from The Athletic's David Aldridge that Iguodala, who's yet to play for the team after being acquired from the Warriors in July, was "prepared to sit out the rest of the season" if Memphis couldn't work out a trade to send him to one of the "agreed-upon teams he designated" before the trade deadline Thursday.
Grizzlies shooting guard Dillon Brooks responded to that report following Monday's victory over the Detroit Pistons.
"A guy that's on our team doesn't want to be on our team," Brooks told reporters. "I can't wait until we find a way to trade him so we can play him, and I can show him what really Memphis is about."
Morant seemingly approved of the remarks on Twitter:
Memphis' front office has so far held firm on its demands of receiving fair trade value for Iggy before Thursday's trade deadline rather than merely releasing him to sign with a contender.
"It's never been, 'I don't want to be there,'" Iguodala said Wednesday. "It's, 'Let's have the conversations in terms of what it looks like going forward. How can I be a value to you? How can you be a value to me? And then how can we make that happen?'"
He added: "A businessman says, 'I want to make this play, because this is what I'm trying to do,' and the response is, 'Oh, that is a very smart business transaction.' But when an athlete says, 'This is what I prefer to do,' the reaction is different."
Led by Morant, Brooks and Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies have moved into eighth place in the Western Conference with a 7-3 record over their past 10 games. That said, it would still be a stretch to place them into the NBA's select group of legitimate championship contenders.
As a franchise on the ascent, it's hard to blame the front office from trying to get some type of valuable asset in return for Iguodala from a top-tier team before the deadline.
While that's the ideal endgame for everybody involved, the situation becomes more complicated if Memphis can't find that type of offer before 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.