The Memphis Grizzlies won’t be especially good this season, barring something totally unforeseen happening, but they appear to be on their way towards building a quality young core. This year’s second overall pick Ja Morant and last year’s fourth overall pick Jaren Jackson Jr. headline a young roster that also includes Summer League standout Brandon Clarke.
Memphis’ summer in free agency consisted of re-signing Jonas Valanciunas, bringing in Tyus Jones, and making a few trades to shuffle pieces around and acquire picks. Most notable among those trades was getting a first round pick and Andre Iguodala from the Warriors to help facilitate the D’Angelo Russell-Kevin Durant sign-and-trade. It was the savvy move that has become popular among rebuilding teams, taking on a large veteran contract they don’t need or really want in order to add more draft capital.
However, with training camp mere weeks away, Iguodala remains on the Grizzlies — unlike Dwight Howard who was bought out to sign with the Lakers — and it seems Memphis is determined to keep him on board at least for some time. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Iguodala is being asked to report to camp and the Grizzlies aren’t discussing a buyout with him at this time.
Sources: Memphis wants three-time champion Andre Iguodala to report to training camp and is refusing right now to engage in buyout, which would prevent Iguodala from finishing a Hall of Fame career on his terms because this may be his final NBA season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 9, 2019
It is a bit surprising, but Iguodala’s presence could be good for the young Grizzlies in camp and he’s valuable enough to contenders that Memphis clearly believes some team will eventually give up an asset to acquire him in a trade. At the least, they want to make teams believe Iggy won’t hit the buyout market and that they’ll need to pony up in a trade to get him, but to this point nothing has materialized.
Iguodala’s camp is clearly frustrated by this and by pushing this into the public sphere they can turn sentiment against the Grizzlies in a battle over whether he should be able to end his career in a place of his choosing. However, Memphis holding on to him through the start of the season until everyone signed this summer becomes trade eligible on December 15 seems like a legitimate possibility as contenders may have more impetus at that point to really push for Iggy in a deal.