The Miami Heat shocked the basketball world Wednesday when it executed a trade to acquire Andre Iguodala from the Memphis Grizzlies. Miami has already exceeded expectations after adding Jimmy Butler this summer, and now its fourth-ranked squad has tools that could help it move up in the Eastern Conference Standings and improve its chances at winning a title. The Heat may not be done, with rumors swirling that Danilo Gallinari may be next on Miami’s list.
The Heat had to part ways with swingman Justice Winslow — who has been sidelined for a majority of the season with injuries. Risking the future might be worth a chance at a championship now. Let’s take a look at how this deal helps Miami.
Rapid Reaction: How Andre Iguodala makes the Heat better
Miami already has a pair of two-way All-Stars in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and now they have a trio of defensive studs. If there’s one thing teams value on the defensive end, it’s switchability. The Heat have an abudance of that now in a league that’s overrun by the pick-and-roll. Jimmy Butler (6’7”) is elite at guarding point guards down to power forwards, and even power forwards in short stints. Adebayo (6’9”) primarily guards power forwards and centers but has proven throughout the year that he shouldn’t be slept on as a perimeter defender against guards in certain situations. See this possession against Stephen Curry from 2017 for proof.
Heat rookie Bam Adebayo put the clamps on Curry pic.twitter.com/RlOzywVTUS— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 4, 2017
Now the Heat have Iguodala (6’7”), who has been heralded as one of the smartest defenders ever in recent years — especially following the 2015 NBA Finals when he won MVP honors and guarded LeBron James effectively for spurts in the championship series. It’s been a while since Iguodala has played, as he elected to holdout in hopes of being moved to a contender after the Golden State Warriors to Memphis. But he’s had time to recover from the health issues that have hindered his performance.
Iguodala doesn’t need the ball to be effective, but he can guard three to four positions well when he’s in good shape, as well as make plays for teammates. Tyler Herro, Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn, and Duncan Robinson provide plenty of offensive spark. Iguodala on the other hand, has experience and knowledge that comes with playing 15 NBA seasons and being a valuable contributor on a playoff team frequently.
Fantasy basketball analysis: What players are impacted most by Iguodala
It’s unclear how the Heat plan on using Iguodala as a starter or not, but he’ll definitely be taking minutes from current some frontcourt players. Robinson has been a surprise in fantasy basketball this year, as the undrafted second-year is averaging around 20 DKFP per contest in 2019. But he and Derrick Jones Jr. will likely be the two players most affected by Iguodala’s arrival. Even if Iguodala only plays 15-20 minutes a night, both Robinson and Jones should see a dip in productivity because of a reduction in opportunities as the season progresses.