It seems clear that Andre Iguodala will not spend the entirety of the 2019-20 NBA season with the Memphis Grizzlies. Fans are already pondering Iguodala’s best team fits around the league. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Grizzlies are currently refusing a buyout, which already shows a strained relationship.
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
More often than not, a strained relationship leads to a split. Whether it will be a buyout or trade, it should be safe to say that Iguodala will finish next season outside of Memphis in hopes of landing with a contender.
Best Team Fits for Andre Iguodala
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are set to be the league’s new “team to beat.” The already playoff-caliber team completely revamped and added two of the league’s biggest superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
The rest of the supporting cast surrounding Leonard and George is very well built as well. There are defensive specialists in Patrick Beverley and Maurice Harkless, sharpshooters in Lou Williams and Landry Shamet, and quickly improving bigs in Montrezl Harrell and Ivica Zubac.
Adding veteran talent can never be overlooked, however. Iguodala remains a fantastic defender and shooter, and one with plenty of championship experience. Landing on the Clippers would mean splitting time with Harkless and Shamet at both the shooting guard and small forward position, but at this point in his career, Iguodala is ready to stick to a role and niche. The Clippers can be Iguodala’s best path to another championship.
The Utah Jazz have been the NBA’s biggest “good, but not quite there” team for the past couple of seasons. Donovan Mitchell is a borderline elite scorer, while Rudy Gobert is the league’s most menacing defender. This had been enough for playoff qualification, but never a serious title run.
With this in mind, the Jazz made big splashes in trading for veteran Mike Conley and signing Bojan Bogdanovic. Conley is a tremendous leader and still a borderline All-Star in his prime. Bogdanovic is an ideal stretch-four for the team’s set up. These two additions were complemented by more decent bench signings.
A shooting guard and small forward rotation with Emmanuel Mudiay and Royce O’Neale might not be enough, however. Iguodala will fit this team nicely and would greatly attribute in limited minutes. His defensive tenacity translates well into the Jazz’s culture, and he brings even more leadership to a team that made that a major priority this offseason. Iguodala isn’t a flashy fit in Utah but could be a match made in Heaven.
The Indiana Pacers are on the cusp of competing in the Eastern Conference. Setting them back, however, is Victor Oladipo and his injury. When healthy, Oladipo is an All-Star talent, but he may not be fit until the flip of the calendar year.
Adding players like Malcolm Brogdon, Jeremy Lamb, and T.J. Warren set the Pacers up to be successful without Oladipo. Iguodala would just make this all the better. Edmond Sumner and Doug McDermott are not ideal bench options, so having Iguodala would ease the load on the team’s new additions. Iguodala’s addition would also allow a smoother transition for Oladipo.
The Pacers are not the alluring “championship or bust” pick. Iguodala, however, would find himself as the team’s most experienced leader. In a relatively weak Eastern Conference, this might be the tool to push the Pacers up to the top.
Houston Rockets – Andre Iguodala’s best team fit
The Houston Rockets are arguably the most popular pick for Iguodala’s best team fit. The team is built to win now, but they don’t necessarily have the most talented bench.
James Harden is an MVP-caliber player. As is Russell Westbrook. Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker, and Clint Capela round out a starting five that can compete with the best of them. The bench “boasts” Gerald Green and Danuel House behind Harden and Gordon. Simply put, this doesn’t look good in a strong Western Conference.
The Rockets have seen success in getting the most out of their players, but they wouldn’t have to test this experiment on Iguodala. The veteran is a perfect filler to lessen the load on James Harden and his massive usage rate.
The Golden State Warriors‘ and Iguodala’s main rivals over the past couple of seasons had been the Rockets. Iguodala knows this, he knows how good they can be. If he wants a prominent role on a contending team, Houston looks ideal.
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