The Golden State Warriors had to cut Andre Iguodala somehow, and he knew it was coming.
Former Golden State Warriors’ forward Andre Iguodala has developed a reputation as one of the smartest players in the NBA over his 15-year career, and he has now proved that his savviness extends to front office decisions.
In an interview with Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area, Andre Iguodala, who was traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies in the aftermath of Kevin Durant‘s commitment to the Brooklyn Nets at the start of free agency, saw the move coming.
"“Once KD (Kevin Durant) left, I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably get traded. They’re probably going to do a sign-and-trade, so they can get something back, to at least get assets for him.”"
With Durant’s departure confirmed, the Warriors were desperate to get something in return for the superstar. As the 35-year-old predicted, they agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Nets, allowing them to acquire all-star D’Angelo Russell.
However, to make the deal financially possible, Golden State was forced to clear cap space, and dumping Iguodala’s $17 million contract was the obvious solution.
The Grizzlies, a rebuilding team keen to acquire more draft picks, happily took on his salary. They received a lightly protected future first-rounder to make it worth their while, giving the Warriors Julian Washburn.
Iguodala saw this coming too. Recalling a conversation with his wife, he revealed:
"“she asked me where I thought I would go. I said, ‘I don’t know, I’ll probably end up in Memphis or some s–t.”"
He may have been only half-joking at the time, but Iggy was able to see the funny side when the deal was confirmed.
"“The next day, I got the message. It was Memphis. I fell out laughing.”"
This appears to be a fleeting moment of jest in his Grizzlies tenure, as a buyout is, frustratingly for the player, a non-starter.
Memphis’ priority this season is to breed youth; veterans with championship pedigree like Iguodala typically play for a contender.
Yet the Grizzlies, understandably, want to test the trade market, rather than pay a player to join another team.
Iguodala, then, may have to wait until at least December 15th to leave Memphis. From this date until the trade deadline, free agents who signed new contracts this summer can be traded, broadening the Grizzlies’ options significantly.
Until then, we may not see much of the Finals MVP, who has mutually agreed with the Grizzlies not to attend training camp.
The former Warrior was crucial to Golden State’s recent success, and few would argue that he deserves a spot on a potential championship roster in the final year(s) of his career.
Nevertheless, the Grizzlies have every right, and every reason, to take their time.
Maybe Iguodala should try and speak a buyout or another trade into existence?