We should all aspire to be Andre Iguodala.
And I don’t just mean the NBA player, top-of-his-craft, Finals MVP part.
Last summer, Iguodala was traded by the Golden State Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies along with a lightly-protected first-round pick. The Warriors needed to shed salary to complete a sign-and-trade of D’Angelo Russell (who is now since gone), and Iguodala’s $17 million owed to him for the final year of his contract was an expense of which they needed to part ways.
Iguodala promptly worked out a deal with the Grizzlies (a supposed rebuilding team) for him to stay away from the team, still collecting his money, while they sought out a trade partner for the veteran wing.
The young Grizzlies players felt disrespected by Iguodala, leading to some comments and an internet-exchange between Steph Curry and Ja Morant.
Steph Curry and Ja Morant going back-and-forth on social media 👀
🍿 Ja engages with tweets about Andre Iguodala in Memphis
🍿 Steph posts Iggy championship pic to IG story
🍿 Ja responds with pic of KD with a championship trophy pic.twitter.com/FAT9fnKvZH
— ESPN (@espn) February 4, 2020
And while many people had reservations of whether or not the Grizzlies could find a trade partner for Iguodala, the Grizzlies remained adamant they would trade him. Then, Wednesday, the news broke that the Miami Heat, one of the strongest teams in the East this year, but a fringe-contender, had traded for Iguodala.
Miami has agreed to trade Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson to Memphis for Andre Iguodala, Solomon Hill and Jae Crowder, league sources tell ESPN. No picks in the deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2020
And better yet, they signed Iguodala to a two-year, $30 million extension, the second year being on a team option.
The Heat traded three players that weren’t at all playing for three players that will. The Grizzlies got back a promising piece in Justise Winslow, and received the first-round-pick from the Warriors just to take on his salary. Both teams can be happy with the results, but the biggest winner here is Iguodala.
The majority of people within the NBA circle expected Iguodala to either get bought out and head to a contender, or get traded and resign with the Warriors next season.
But Iguodala, the savvy businessman who has excelled just as much in his work off the court as he has in his work on it, has managed to defy all of our expectations.
He managed to sit at home and collect checks, wind up on South Beach with no state taxes on a contending team, and earn himself a further contract extension at age 36. Iguodala truly made out like a bandit this season. It’s so astounding you can’t even really hate, just give a subtle nod of respect to the man that finessed the system.
The addition of Iguodala (and to a lesser extent Jae Crowder) make the Heat a viable championship contender this year. Iguodala’s defense and championship acumen make him an immeasurable piece to a team, and the Heat are surely ecstatic they were able to land the veteran.
When you’re young and have something to prove, you have to put your head down and get to work. But when you’re a veteran in your craft, often you get to make big decisions for yourself, and wind up with exactly what you were looking for.
Iguodala finessed his way into the best possible situation for himself, and for that, all we can really do is tip our cap.