The Dallas Mavericks need wing help. That’s not a secret to anybody. A decent amount of people think Andre Iguodala would be the play here, getting him out of Memphis in a trade.
I’ve been fairly cool on the Mavericks trading for Iguodala for a variety of reasons I’ll expand on in a minute, but a few weeks ago, my decision was sealed. Iguodala went on ESPN for an entire day and appeared on a variety of shows. Most notably, he went on First Take and they talked about his potential landing spots.
Go ahead and click that link and see if you can find what really bothered me about the clip. I’ll wait!
OK, did you see it? No? Here’s a hint: you don’t even have to listen to the video to find it.
Here, I’ll just go ahead and show you:
The title of the video is “Andre Iguodala is ready to play and contend for an NBA title” and right in the video, displaying right under Iguodala the entire time he talked, was this:
Currently member of the Grizzlies.
Why is this OK? I understand that before the season, the Grizzlies and Iguodala came to an agreement that he would sit out while the team went through a rebuilding season. I get that. But two things: the Grizzlies are in the thick of the playoff hunt, currently the eighth seed and two games up on the ninth seed Trail Blazers. Iguodala could theoretically compete for a title on the team he is currently a player of!
The other thing and what’s worse for me though is this: has an NBA player under contract with a team ever campaigned for his next team while also not playing in any games? This is weird, right? Iguodala shouldn’t be openly speculating about his next team while the team he’s under contract for plays games and tries to make the playoffs. Things change in the NBA all the time and it’s obvious the situation in Memphis is not what it was thought to be four months ago. But even then, does he need to go on national TV to talk about it for almost an entire day?
It’s just one of the many weird things that give off bad vibes for me and his potential to be on the Mavericks. Iguodala hasn’t tried to hide his desire to play for one of the Los Angeles teams — I’m not sure the Mavericks need to trade for a player that might not want to be here. Dallas has a good thing going with their locker room right now. Why mess that up?
Getting past this off-court stuff, I’m not even sure Iguodala is worth it. The trade that works is Courtney Lee’s expiring contract and the Golden State Warriors’ second round pick. Right now, that pick would be the 31st in the 2020 draft. That’s a good pick! It’s easy to toss around second rounders like they’re pennies, and hell, the Mavericks just did this with Willie Cauley-Stein, but there’s a giant difference between the 31st pick and the 55th pick. In the last three years, these players have been picked in the 30s: Kevin Porter Jr., Jalen Brunson, Devonte’ Graham, Mitchell Robinson, Gary Trent Jr., and Josh Hart.
The point is, good players can be had for this pick. The Mavericks did not have a first round pick in 2019 and they won’t have one in 2021 and 2023 as well. Getting the 31st pick this season can help balance that out and for a Mavs team that already has max contract Kristaps Porzingis and the massive second contract of Luka Doncic on the horizon, young and cheap role players will be hugely valuable for this team over the next four to five years. Is that really worth renting Iguodala for a few months?
Let’s face it: we don’t even really know how good Iguodala can be this season. He hasn’t played since the NBA Finals in 2019 and we all know how game shape is different from off-season training shape. It’ll take some time for Iguodala to get up to speed. Then there’s the fact that in his last full season, he averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game while shooting 33 percent from three.
I like the idea of an Iguodala trade, on paper. Dallas desperately needs another wing as Justin Jackson slumps, they need another playmaker and they need some veteran toughness to help them weather the storm of some of these clutch time woes. Iguodala, in theory, helps check all three of those boxes in some capacity. In reality though, I’m just not sure it’s worth it. Thankfully, reports are coming out that the Mavericks are cooling on Iguodala as well.
To be clear, I’m not against a trade or against trading that Golden State pick. I just think the Mavericks can do better. And if they can’t? Then just enjoy the comeback season, one which will end with a playoff series. The Mavericks are young, talented and most importantly, still growing. Dallas doesn’t have to skip any steps to their rebuild.