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Grizzlies reportedly ‘not budging’ off first-round pick demand for Andre Iguodala

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Never say never when it comes to NBA trades. However, the chances the Memphis Grizzlies get a first-round pick back in a trade of Andre Iguodala are about the same as Scarlett Johansson leaving Colin Jost for a bald, hybrid-driving, fast-aging NBA writer. Hypothetically.

However, right now, 50 days out from the trade deadline, the Grizzlies are not backing off that first-round pick demand, reports Sean Deveney of Heavy.com.

 Two months into the season, the Grizzlies have not budged on their demand for Iguodala, an indication that they feel they’ll be able to make a worthwhile deal ahead of the February 7 trade deadline.

“They haven’t budged,” one league executive told Heavy.com. “Maybe they will as the date gets closer, but they’ve made clear, they’re not interested in a buyout with Andre and they’re looking for a first-rounder. Teams have been trying. They haven’t let go of that. But that tells you they know they’ll be able to get something and won’t have to buy him out.”

More and more around the league, there is a feeling the Grizzlies will get a trade because some team will step up with an offer that works — not a first-rounder, but a potentially higher second-rounder plus the contract(s) to match Iguodala’s $17.2 million salary. Dallas has been mentioned (Courtney Lee and they have a few seconds they can trade), as have the Rockets, Bucks, and Clippers, plus others are talking to the Grizzlies as well.

The Los Angeles Lakers are the reported frontrunners to sign Iguodala as a free agent if Memphis buys out Iguodala after the trade deadline. Keeping Iguodala away from the Lakers is another reason some team out of the West may step up and make the trade. (The Lakers can’t make a trade that works to land Iguodala. The only deal that makes sense for the Lakers is Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a pick, but Caldwell-Pope has veto power over any trade due to Bird Rights, and he would undoubtedly veto this move. Plus KCP’s agent is Rich Paul, the agent for LeBron James and Anthony Davis, someone the Lakers need to keep happy.)

Iguodala was traded by Golden State to Memphis last July (in what was a cost-cutting move for the Warriors). Iguodala talked with the Grizzlies but would not give up significant money toward a buyout, and the Grizzlies want to land a pick. So the sides agreed to wait, with Iguodala away from the team and working out on his own.

Report: Knicks offered to trade Kristaps Porzingis to Pelicans for Anthony Davis

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The NBA hasn’t had a clear and enduring star-for-star trade in nearly two decades.

The Knicks apparently tried to make one happen before last season’s trade deadline with Kristaps Porzingis and Anthony Davis.

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

According to sources, New York offered the New Orleans Pelicans a package centered around Porzingis in exchange for forward Anthony Davis.

Kristaps Porzingis would’ve given the Pelicans a premier young talent to replace Davis, who had requested a trade and was a season-and-a-half from free agency. That should have at least intrigued New Orleans.

But the situation was more complicated for several reasons:

1. I’m not sure Pelicans owner Gayle Benson would have approved trading Davis at that point. Then-general manager Dell Demps appeared to be on the outs, and he got fired later in the season. She might have preferred letting New Orleans’ next lead executive (which turned out to be David Griffin) handle the Davis trade.

Waiting until the offseason also carried another potential advantage – letting the Celtics enter the race. With Kyrie Irving already acquired as a designated rookie via trade, Boston couldn’t land another in Davis last season. Waiting on the Celtics didn’t work out. They watched Irving leave for the Nets and didn’t push strongly for Davis. But the upside was there.

2. Davis had a far higher salary than Porzingis. It wouldn’t have worked as a straight-up trade. I bet the Knicks proposed using negative-value players Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to make salaries match. In fact, New York sent those two with Porzingis to the Mavericks in the actual trade made.

3. Porzingis was set to enter restricted free agency last summer and was coming off a torn ACL. He had also made noise about accepting his qualifying offer to become an unrestricted free agent in 2020, which would have been a disaster for New Orleans. Even in their best-case scenario, the Pelicans would have had to give a huge long-term contract to a player coming off significant injury. Dallas did that, and the jury remains out.

New Orleans came out ahead, getting a massive haul from the Lakers for Davis. It’s possible Porzingis will turn out better than anyone the Pelicans got from Los Angeles. But I’d rather roll the dice on the great package of players (Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart) and picks New Orleans got, especially without having to take Hardaway’s and Lee’s burdensome contracts.

Still, it’s hard not to think about how fun a Porzingis-Zion Williamson combination would have been… when healthy.

If they had Davis, the Knicks would be fighting to persuade him to re-sign next summer. Their team would look completely different around him. But I wouldn’t have much faith in New York management providing an alluring supporting cast.

The Knicks could have tried to trade for Davis last summer. They appeared barely interested. When they were more interested earlier, New Orleans wasn’t.

This just never lined up right.

Rumor: Dallas could end up trading for Andre Iguodala

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The Grizzlies want to trade Andre Iguodala, but so far no team has been interested in sending Memphis a first-round pick (the reported current asking price).

The Los Angeles Lakers (the reported frontrunners) are waiting for Memphis to buy out Iguodala after the trade deadline so they can sign him as a free agent. (Other teams, including the Clippers and Rockets, are interested, too.)

Ultimately, that means if another team outside L.A. has interest in Iguodala for the rest of this season, they are going to have to trade for him. Some executives around the league think that team could be Dallas, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said in a video on their site.

“One place is shaping up as a possibility as you talk to executives out there. That is the Dallas Mavericks…

“Executives believe the Mavericks are a team that we should watch when it comes to the Andre Iguodala landing spot. They have a tradable contract in Courtney Lee, and extra second-round picks they could potentially use to get Memphis interested.”

Other executives speculating on what Dallas or Memphis might do is just that, speculation. Call it a rumor.

We do know Dallas and the Grizzlies had some talks about Iguodala after he was traded by Golden State to Memphis last July (in what was a cost-cutting move for the Warriors). Nothing came of them, but it makes sense that the sides have kept the lines of communication open. This is how NBA deals generally get done, over a long stretch of time.

We also know that no serious talks are going on right now around this trade (or really any other). The NBA trade window meaningfully opens up Dec. 15 when most players signed this summer can be added to deals, however, it generally takes the pressure of the trade deadline (Feb. 6) to get trades done.

Iguodala makes some sense for Dallas as a defender in a playoff push. The Mavericks have the best offense in the NBA so far behind the leap Luka Doncic made this season, but their defense is pedestrian. That’s not going to get them far in the postseason. Iguodala can help on that end.

If Dallas wants him, they are going to have to trade for him. If Iguodala is with Memphis after the trade deadline, a buyout becomes highly likely, followed by a quick trip to Los Angeles for Iguodala.

Report: Mavericks trying to trade Courtney Lee, second-rounder for Andre Iguodala

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As soon as the Grizzlies acquired him, it appeared Andre Iguodala wouldn’t be long for Memphis.

The Grizzlies’ primary impetus for the trade seemed to be a first-round pick from the Warriors, who were desperate to stay under the hard cap triggered by acquiring D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade. The Grizzlies are in the early stages of rebuilding around Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. Iguodala is a still-helpful player nearing the end of his career. Their timelines just don’t overlap.

Dallas is among the teams interested in Iguodala. What would the Mavericks offer? They’re reportedly interested in swapping the expiring contracts of Courtney Lee ($12,759,670 salary) and Iguodala ($17,185,185 salary).

Mike Fisher of DallasBasketball.com:

The Dallas Mavericks’ long-standing desire to shed themselves of Courtney Lee has manifested itself in a trade offer from the Mavs to Memphis that would send Lee and a second-round pick to the Grizzlies in exchange for veteran standout Andre Iguodala, sources tell DallasBasketball.com.

The Grizzlies’ so-far response, DBcom has been told, is that they are unwilling to take on the ballast of Lee’s $12.759 million salary in such a deal.

A Lee-for-Iguodala trade would work straight up salary-cap wise. (Future picks count as $0 for matching purposes in trades.)

This deal seems like a positive for both teams.

The Mavericks would get a productive player as they try to win now around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Iguodala has excellent basketball intelligence, and he applies it as a defender and passer. Like most teams, Dallas could definitely use another versatile wing.

The Grizzlies would save money (the $4,425,515 difference between the players’ salaries plus any cash the Mavericks include) and get an extra pick. That wouldn’t be a bad double dip for Memphis, which would get a pick for each taking and sending out Iguodala. It’s hard to see him helping the Grizzlies, who probably won’t be competitive next season.

The big unknown: Could Memphis do even better by trading Iguodala elsewhere?

Of course, the Grizzlies might not view it this way. They could value Iguodala as a mentor or maybe even a contributor on a team they believe to be ahead of schedule. In that case, a second-rounder and a few million of savings might not be enough.

But if Memphis wants to flip Iguodala for an asset and send him somewhere he has a better chance of winning, this Dallas offer looks like at least a solid starting point.

Report: Mavericks’ top target in free agency will be Kemba Walker

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Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is rumored to leave Charlotte in free agency this summer.

Where could he go?

Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer:

Two sources with knowledge of the Mavericks’ thinking expect Walker, the Hornets’ three-time All-Star point guard, to be that team’s top target when NBA free-agency begins July 1.

Dallas projects to have about $30 million in cap space. Walker’s max starting salary projects to be about $33 million.

Maybe that’d be enough to get Walker, who’ll turn 29 in May. He’s very good right now, but he might not be worth a max contract over the next four years.

If they need to clear extra cap space for Walker, the Mavericks could try to trade players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Dwight Powell and Justin Jackson. A max contract projects to be worth about $141 million over four years. A starting salary of $30 million with max raises would pay Walker $129 million over four years.

For what it’s worth, Walker’s max contract with the Hornets projects to be $190 million over five years (or $221 million over five years if he makes an All-NBA team this season).

But Charlotte has never gotten Walker an All-Star teammate. In Dallas, Walker would have two teammates on the star track in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

Doncic makes this tricky, though. He’s a lead playmaker from the wing. Should he just be the point guard? If not, what type of point guard fits best with him? Signing Walker would be an expensive way to find out.

Walker can work off the ball. He drills catch-and-shoot 3-pointers at a good rate. His dribble-drives still work in secondary actions. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle likes to use two point guards, anyway.

But much of Walker’s value comes from his ability with the ball. If he’s not consistently initiating the offense and running pick-and-rolls, is he worth the salary he’ll surely command?

On the other hand, whom could Dallas get instead? Maybe a not-fully unleashed Walker is still the best option. After trading multiple future first-round picks, the Mavericks can’t just patiently roll over their cap space. Their imperative is to win soon, and Walker would help.