From the time he was dumped by the Golden State Warriors to create enough salary cap space to sign D’Angelo Russell, rumors have been continuously swirling around veteran small forward Andre Iguodala and his future with the Memphis Grizzlies. Though the Grizzlies are currently in the playoff race, Iguodala still hasn’t played a single game in the 2019-20 NBA season and is highly expected to be moved before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Since the 2019 NBA offseason, one of the NBA teams who’s being mentioned as the favorite landing spot for Iguodala is the Los Angeles Lakers.
Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report agreed to the idea that Iguodala would be a perfect addition to the Lakers. Aside from having plenty of championship experience, Iguodala would be giving the Lakers a “half-court secondary playmaker,” a reliable threat from beyond the arc, and someone who could be tasked to guard the opposing team’s best player. However, despite the things that he can contribute to the team in the 2019-20 NBA season, Ellis believes that the only time that the Lakers should go after Iguodala is if the Grizzlies buy out his contract and not via trade.
As Ellis noted, trading for Iguodala won’t be worth it for the Lakers, especially knowing that they would be needing to part ways with Kyle Kuzma to convince the Grizzlies to make a deal and include the likes of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Quinn Cook, and Alex Caruso for salary matching purposes.
“The problem with trading for Iguodala is it would almost certainly mean moving on from Kyle Kuzma (unless LeBron calls in another favor). The Lakers have little to no assets to send, and the Grizzlies have shown their willingness to wait for a strong offer. Plus, there’s the issue of matching salaries. They’d need to convince Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to waive his right to veto the trade and then pay his 15 percent kicker as compensation. They’d then still need to add one of Quinn Cook or Alex Caruso to make the math work.”
The potential acquisition of Iguodala would undeniably increase the Lakers’ chance of fully dominating the deep Western Conference and winning the 2020 NBA championship title, but giving up a young and talented player like Kuzma and some of their reliable contributors off the bench for the aging veteran doesn’t make much sense. If they are planning to use Kuzma as the main trade chip to boost their roster, Ellis suggested that the Lakers are better off targeting Davis Bertans of the Washington Wizards.