The Miami Heat have acquired Andre Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters and James Johnson, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski.
Iguodala, despite sitting out the year, has also landed a contract extension. The former Finals MVP will earn $15 million in 2020/21 and has a team option for 2021/22 in case the Heat manage to land a star free agent.
After a stand-off between Iguodala and the Grizzlies, the Heat were no more than a fringe contender to land the former Warriors wing. Miami had barely any picks available to trade, and opted to let Winslow go instead.
Winslow, who has missed much of the season with injury, joins Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks in the Grizzlies young core. Yet to find his role on an NBA team, Winslow could flourish in Memphis, particularly if he can shoot efficiently from three as he did last season.
Iguodala is the prized asset of the deal. It remains to be seen how many minutes Crowder and Hill get (they both rank in the bottom four among small forwards in ESPN’s defensive real plus-minus). Crowder has a reputation as a plus-defender, and has shot the three well in the past, but his numbers for this year are ugly. He’s still a useful piece to get added into this deal considering Miami are getting off Johnson and Waiters’ contracts.
The team option acts as insurance for the Heat, but it would be foolish to ignore the risk of this deal. Iguodala hasn’t played basketball in almost a year and has recently turned 36. Injuries are a concern, as we saw in the 2019 playoffs, and he’s not going to contribute big minutes during the regular season. The experience is invaluable, however, on a Miami roster featuring several key young players in Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn.
Miami are just 14th in defensive rating. Their potential defensively has taken a real leap. Jimmy Butler, Iguodala and Crowder is quite a wing trio. Crowder’s performances might be what swings this trade for the Heat – how he shoots the ball will make a major difference to their postseason rotation options. Iguodala gives another ball-handler and could guard multiple possessions against the East’s best scorers like Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton and Pascal Siakam.
Summing up this trade, the Grizzlies effectively ‘bought’ Winslow by taking on bad contracts, filling cap space this summer. The Heat gave up a talented young player to add players who can help right now (Crowder and Hill are free agents this summer). There’s a lot to like about it for both front offices, who have respectively worked wonders over the last 18 months.