The Golden State Warriors sent Iguodala, who is due $17.2 million next season in the final year of his contract, along with a lightly protected 2024 first-round pick to the rebuilding Grizzlies because they needed to shed his salary to execute the three-team, sign-and-trade deal for All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell.
It was widely speculated that Iguodala would land with the Los Angeles Lakers if he received a buyout. Rob Pelinka was Iguodala's agent before he became the Lakers' general manager, and Iguodala would likely be eager to join a contender.
Iguodala, 35, a critical piece of the Warriors' three championships and five consecutive Finals appearances, is considered one of the league's elite wing defenders and is an excellent passer and threat off the dribble. He averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as Golden State's sixth man last regular season. Those averages increased to 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists during the playoffs, when Iguodala started the majority of the games.
The Grizzlies used a trade exception acquired in the Mike Conley trade with the Utah Jazz to acquire Iguodala, getting the future first-round pick for facilitating the deal that sent Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets and Russell to Golden State.
Memphis, under the leadership of recently promoted executive vice president of basketball operations Zach Kleiman, has made accumulating young players and future picks a priority this summer.
Last month, the Grizzlies dealt veteran guard Conley to the Jazz for Grayson Allen, Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, the 23rd pick in June's NBA draft and a future first-round pick. On Wednesday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Grizzlies were sending Korver to the Phoenix Suns in a four-team trade that gives Memphis former No. 4 pick Josh Jackson, guard De'Anthony Melton and two future second-round picks.
With significant interest in Iguodala, the Grizzlies hope to flip him for more assets instead of offering the 15-year veteran a buyout.