Memphis Grizzlies

NBA rumors: Executives believe Andre Iguodala will sign with Lakers


NBA rumors: Executives believe Andre Iguodala will sign with Lakers

Two weeks into the NBA season and Andre Iguodala remains at home, waiting for the Grizzlies to decide his fate.

The Warriors dealt Iguodala to the Grizzlies this summer for a trade exception, but the 2015 NBA Finals MVP never was going to lace up his sneakers for the rebuilding Griz. The assumption is that the Grizzlies will try to trade Iguodala or eventually work out a buyout with the veteran wing.

A number of teams are expected to be interested in Iguodala's services. His on-ball defense, veteran savvy, playoff experience and ability to hit the outside shot make him a rare commodity in today's game. The Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, 76ers, Nuggets and Warriors all have mentioned as potential landing spots for Iguodala either via trade or on the open market.

But, according to NBA executives, his destination pretty much is set in stone, as every NBA executive who answered the question posed by The Athletic's David Aldridge chose the Purple and Gold.

“Best combination of ring chance and role," one exec told Aldridge.

Iguodala's former agent Rob Pelinka currently is the general manager of the Lakers, so it would make sense for Iguodala to head to Southern California to join LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Co. The Lakers have won six games in a row after their season-opening loss to Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers, buoyed by strong team defense and a re-energized James, the Lakers have looked like a championship contender from the jump.

Add in Iguodala to a team that already boasts Avery Bradley, Danny Green and James as wing defenders and the Lakers would be able to throw out one of the better defensive lineups in basketball. Versatility on defense will be key down the stretch and into the Western Conference playoffs when teams are boasting dynamic pairings like Russell Westbrook and James Harden or Leonard and Paul George.

[RELATED: Kerr hints at Warriors' issues beyond KD-Draymond fracas]

As for a possible return to Golden State, that always seemed like a future move for Iguodala. With the injuries to Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the Warriors are in a transition season, trotting out a host of young and unproven players to see which have staying power. 

Once the Warriors return to full strength, Iguodala returning to the Bay Area to finish his career seems like a likely destination.

But for now, should we just sharpie Iguodala in purple and gold? Feels like it.

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NBA players convinced Andre Iguodala going to Lakers, ESPN reporter says

NBA players convinced Andre Iguodala going to Lakers, ESPN reporter says

Warriors fans are hurting after Thursday night's 141-122 blowout loss to the Clippers in the season opener.

And the latest update on former Golden State forward Andre Iguodala only will make things worse.

On the most recent episode of "The Hoop Collective" podcast with ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the hosts were talking about how the Lakers don't have anybody who can remotely defend Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard.

This led to the following exchange:

Windhorst: "Iguodala may not have it left in the tank, but that's why where Iguodala goes is just gonna be so fascinating."

Jackie MacMullan: "We know where he's going. Wait a minute, we know where he's going. He's going to the Lakers. Come on now. I've had four different players tell me. Every player I talk to tells me that."

Windhorst: "If he gets bought out, that's not a guarantee it's gonna happen."

As you probably are aware -- the 2015 NBA Finals MVP is waiting for the Grizzlies to find a trade partner. But it's very possible that conversations with other teams won't intensify until we get closer to the early February trade deadline.

A buyout is the last resort for Memphis, and Iguodala will have to remain patient.

[RELATEDStein calls Iguodala returning to Warriors a 'virtual lock']

As for what MacMullan said about the Lakers -- ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said the following two weeks ago:

"It's the two LA teams. It's the Lakers and it's the Clippers. And if there is a buyout at some point -- if Memphis can't trade him -- that's where that will come down to, those two teams."

Keep in mind that Iguodala's former agent -- Rob Pelinka -- is the Lakers general manager.

We shall see.

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Andre Iguodala retiring with Warriors 'virtual lock,' Marc Stein says

Andre Iguodala retiring with Warriors 'virtual lock,' Marc Stein says

Andre Iguodala cemented his legacy with the Warriors over his six-year tenure with the team, winning three championships for Golden State. His time as a Warrior might not be over, too. 

The Warriors traded Iguodala to the Grizzlies this offseason, a move that coach Steve Kerr called a "gut punch" on The Warriors Insider Podcast. Kerr could be reunited with Iguodala ... next season. 

The New York Times' Marc Stein called Iguodala returning to the Warriors for the 2020-21 season a "virtual lock" in his Wednesday newsletter. 

While Iguodala currently is on the Grizzlies' roster, he is waiting for Memphis to either trade him or negotiate a contract buyout. Even if a contract buyout is completed, however, Iguodala can't wind up back on the Warriors. A team that trades a player cannot re-sign him during the season in which he was traded. 

But the summer of 2020 could be a different story. 

[RELATED: Iguodala posts cryptic tweet before Clippers-Lakers opener]

Iguodala is due $17.8 million this season before he becomes a free agent this upcoming summer. Stein speculates when Iguodala hits the open market, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will find his way to Chase Center. 

It only seems right.