The Golden State Warriors former forward Andre Iguodala is still in Memphis.
It is September 13, 2019, 18 days from the start of training camp and 40 days from the start of the 2019 NBA regular season and Andre Iguodala is still a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. I’m not surprised and you shouldn’t be either. The former Golden State Warriors forward may be used as trade chip earlier this season.
Every hoops head understands that the NBA is a business, cut-throat and unforgiving at times. That’s how a major contributor and fan-favorite like Iguodala gets traded in the first place.
He was a salary cap casualty in a maddeningly salary-capped league, but that’s a topic for another day. The NBA is a business and winning affects the profit margins—just ask Joe Lacob.
Great organizations understand that sustained success comes when you neglect no avenue, no advantage, no useful bit of information; you have to win on the margins if you want to keep winning.
There are real questions to be asked of Lacob: what do the receipts say about his commitment to maintaining the never-ending empire?
There were quite a few front office and medical staff defections as the great Golden State machine roared on, seemingly unencumbered, until the base was weakened so drastically it collapsed underneath their feet, taking Kevin Durant and the Larry O’Brien trophy with it, but again, for another day!
The Grizzlies refusal to engage in buyout talks with Iguodala is a clear sign that they understand the importance of winning on the margins. They smartly took advantage of the Warriors time-crunch.
The Warriors needed to quickly trade Iguodala in order to execute the sign-and-trade of Kevin Durant for D’Angelo Russell and the Grizzlies stepped forward as a willing trade partner, as long as the Warriors included a first-round pick.
Organizations like the Spurs, Heat and Clippers more recently, see the opportunity in every moment, the value of exhausting every avenue in service of success. The Spurs have had a massive overseas scouting team for quite some time, long before other organizations adopted the practice.
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The Heat have been playing expert level cap gymnastics for as long as I can remember. And the Clippers, well they have a nearly endless budget and they’ve spent that money on smart contract.
Like Omar Devone Little in The Wire, who made his money ripn’ and runnin’, the Grizzlies have already taken advantage of the Warriors poor planning, now they’re trying to move their newly acquired asset at a premium.
Omar Little had a shotgun, a duster, an intimidating scar, and the swagger of the freest black man in the annals of history. The Grizzlies ain’t got all that.
But they do have a three-time champion in Andre Iguodala—a 6-foot-6 defensive wizard and proven big-shot maker in a league where good two-way wings are everything—and they’ve got the wits to know not to sell-low on such a commodity.
Andre Iguodala is still a member of the Memphis Grizzlies because the Grizzlies are confident that someone will eventually pay the price they’re asking—someone always does. (Especially since this is the NBA and you can’t jack a team for their future-Hall-of-Famer small forward.)
The Grizzlies and the rival organizations they’re engaging in trade talks understand what Omar Little understood, what we all need to come to understand as we watch the NBA: “It’s all in the game, yo.”