Andre Iguodala clears the air about what really went down after the Warriors traded him to the Grizzlies
The Miami Heat's new 36-year-old wing says his brief basketball sabbatical was a 'mutual agreement'
Everybody has an opinion about Andre Iguodala sitting out until the trade deadline and then negotiating a contract extension when the Miami Heat acquired him. You might see this as yet another example of the 36-year-old understanding his leverage, just as like he did when he was a free agent, and playing the game perfectly. (This is why I called him one of the .) You might see this as a total disgrace, either for the simple reason that he was getting paid to not come to work or because he was disrespecting the young, exciting and surprisingly successful Memphis Grizzlies.
If you are in the latter camp, I suggest that you consider how cold and cutthroat teams can be to players. I also suggest that you read Iguodala's comments to Sam Amick of The Athletic. In an interview about his time off and the move to Miami, Iguodala called his brief sabbatical a "mutual agreement."
Iguodala did not directly say that the Grizzlies suggested that he should stay home. He said, however, that "it wasn't just me" who decided it was the best plan.
"It was brought to me, you understand what I'm saying?" Iguodala told The Athletic. "It was brought to me. The [Warriors] trade happens, and it's brought to me, [and he's told], 'Hey, we know you're coming from this situation and, you know, it may not be ideal for you.'"
Players get traded all the time in the NBA, and many of them do not have the power to make sure they wind up in a situation they love. Memphis, however, did not trade for him last summer because it was looking for a defensive-minded veteran; it did so because Golden State needed a team to absorb his contract and it was willing to send that team a first-round pick and $2 million cash to make it happen. Iguodala said that he was in "a unique position," and he "never approached anyone to say, 'Hey, this is not somewhere that I want to be, and I'm not going to show up.' That never occurred."
The reality is that the Grizzlies didn't expect to be in the playoff race this season, and they traded for Iguodala with the intention of moving him somewhere else. They likely hoped they'd be able to find a deal they liked sooner than February, but they ended up getting Justise Winslow out of it. Whatever you think of that trade from Memphis' perspective, and whatever you think of Iguodala's agreement with the team, all the people involved acted in their own self-interest and (eventually) got what they wanted.
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