As we all know, former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala was traded in the offseason to the Memphis Grizzlies after appearing in 5 consecutive NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors. Since that trade, both Iguodala and the Memphis organization have no interest from each party to move forward with one another; which is leading the Grizzlies to buyout Iguodala’s contract.
Once Iguodala’s contract is officially bought out, there are going to be plenty of teams who will try and create space for the 16 year veteran. Let’s not forget that the 35 year old is a key leader on the floor and can make the guys around him better. Just look at his time in Golden State! When Iguodala was on the floor the Dubs were proficiently better and he always stepped up when it mattered most.
Here are three organizations that could use Iguodala’s presence and could help them become a better contender.
1. Houston Rockets
It is clear that the Rockets need defenders badly. Although they have phenomenal superstars in James Harden and Russell Westbrook, this team still lacks in defensive efficiency. Houston is ranked 24th in defense as they give up 115 points per game and their opponents are shooting 45% from the field. Although he won’t be able to compete at a high level defensively each night, Iguodala can preach defense to this team and lead the charge in showing much energy on that side of the floor. If Houston wants to get to that next level as far as contenders, then maybe Iguodala would be a key piece to add to the roster.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
Philly has a legitimate chance to come out of the Eastern Conference this season. But the only team that is in their way of making that goal happen is Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. With the Bucks on a very hot streak at the moment, Philly looks a bit tentative and needs some consistency out of their role players. Could Iguodala possibly be the difference maker with his veteran leadership? Theres a huge chance that Embiid could benefit off of having Iguodala as a teammate. We saw in Golden State how Steph Curry was a different player when he played alongside Iggy and how the game was easier for him. Maybe he can have that same impact for both Embiid and Simmons. If Iguodala were to be signed by Philadelphia, he could be a great floor spacer who can show up when it matters most for this Sixers team. He’s not what Jimmy Butler was for Philly, but he can make big plays just like Butler did during his time there.
3. Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota is still relatively young and are still trying to figure things out. Despite exceptional play this season from both Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins, the Wolves have yet to reach over that hump and become a playoff team in the west. We know the west is deep and every night is a battle amongst men, but the leadership of Towns should be able to get the job done on a nightly basis as long as he is assertive and engaged into the game. Maybe it’s leadership the Wolves need. Someone who has been in huge moments from time to time. Iguodala could be that guy for the Timberwolves. Even if he doesn’t get much playing time, just being on the bench guiding the young guys on how to win games, it would be beneficial for the Wolves to get a player of Iguodala’s caliber to contribute to the team both on and off the court to build better team comradery and hopefully get over the hump of being a lottery team every season.
Despite obviously being passed his prime, Iguodala is still needed in the NBA. We saw how he accepted his role in Golden State and how much it benefited for him. Whenever his number was called, he never phased in the biggest moments and always did what he had to do to contribute in a team win. It’s unfortunate that he and the Memphis Grizzlies have decided to part ways, but maybe it is for the better of both sides. Once his contract is bought out, it will be interesting to see which team calls Iguodala first to be on their roster.