Report: Rockets, Mavericks interested in trading for Andre Iguodala, whom Grizzlies won’t buy out

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The Grizzlies got a high-upside first-round pick for taking Andre Iguodala and his $17,185,185 salary.

Could they get another valuable asset for flipping Iguodala elsewhere?

As soon as Memphis got him from the Warriors, who were pressing to get under the hard cap triggered by a D'Angelo Russell sign-and-trade, it was clear Iguodala didn’t fit with the rebuilding Grizzlies. He’s 35 and ready to help a winner now, probably not for much longer. There was talk of a buyout, the Lakers the most commonly predicted destination.

But the Grizzlies are proceeding as if they can do better in a trade.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

Teams often have a rule with potential buyouts: They’ll say a buyout is completely out of the question… until it happens. They just lose too much leverage in trade negotiations if a buyout seems possible.

It’s no surprise teams want Iguodala. He’s good. Quality wings are also scarce. Though Iguodala is aging, he’s such a smart player. His ability to get himself and the ball to the right spots is special, and he couples his basketball intelligence with a real commitment defensively. He could slip out of usefulness next season, but there’ll likely be at least one team that should bet on him once the dust settles in free agency.

Iguodala’s high salary will limit suitors. Not every team has the flexibility to acquire him. But the Mavericks still have cap space to facilitate a trade. The Rockets have other expensive players to send back. There are paths to trades.

Likely, one gets done. But if not, a buyout isn’t completely out of the question – no matter what Memphis says now.