The Trail Blazes lack of depth at forward and struggling defense could put them in the market for veteran presence. Of those options, Andre Iguodala continues to get mentioned as a potential target for Portland.
Earlier in the week, ESPN’s Andre Snelling listed the Blazers as one of the top options for Iguodala’s services.
The Portland Trail Blazers were the No. 3 seed in the West for the last two seasons. Despite their slow start, they are committed to trying to put together a contender this season. The Blazers already made a big splash with the addition of Carmelo Anthony, but they remain one of the worst defenses in the league and don’t generate many assists. Iguodala would be a perfect fit, helping fill the void left by the season-ending injury to wing Rodney Hood. Kent Bazemore’s expiring contract matches up well with Iguodala’s, and the Blazers appear to have decent future first-round picks and could afford to include one in a deal.
Snelling justified Iguodala’s lofty cost, a first-round pick, with this explanation:
Iguodala is a do-everything glue guy capable of contributing on both sides of the ball. According to Second Spectrum tracking data, Iguodala ranked 68th last season with 2,993 passes, a high total considering that he played only 23.1 MPG and missed 14 games. And Iguodala’s passes led to a 56.1 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) for teammates, which ranked 25th in the league. He makes excellent decisions on offense and can still force a defense to react to him off the dribble.
On the other side of the ball, Iguodala defended 160 isolations that led directly to a shot, foul turnover or assist opportunity, per Second Spectrum. On that top-25 volume, he allowed only 0.87 points per play while also remaining an incredibly reliable help defender.
The Blazers’ defense has already taken a massive hit with Zach Collins’ shoulder injury. Placing Iguodala next to Carmelo Anthony could limit the freedom opposing offenses enjoy when they cross paths with Portland.
Iguodala, who turns 36 in January, has yet to play this season after arriving in Memphis following a trade from Golden State. Last season, Iguodala appeared in 68 regular season games with the Warriors.
You can read the full post from Snellings at ESPN+ (subscription required).