N.B.A. Trade Season Ensnares the Knicks and Andre Iguodala

Things were similarly quiet on the Drummond front entering Tuesday’s business despite an initial flurry of interest in the Detroit big man last month from teams such as the Atlanta Hawks and the Knicks.

But Atlanta, Denver, Houston and Minnesota combined on a four-team trade involving 12 players early Wednesday morning, and there will be more action before Thursday’s 3 p.m. Eastern time buzzer. I see 15 as a safe over/under estimate — and true aficionados of the Transaction Game appreciate even the seemingly small ones.

Q: Why would the Grizzlies buy Andre Iguodala out? Whether he sits out the entire season or gets bought out, he’s owed $17 million. The Grizzlies don’t need to be helping a Western Conference team get a savvy veteran for cheap, either. — @Bjorn2Hula from Twitter

From the moment Memphis acquired Iguodala in a July trade with Golden State, I have chuckled along with Grizzlies fans at the ridiculous notion from Lakers and Clippers fans that Memphis should just set a three-time champion free so a title contender from Los Angeles could snap him up at the league minimum.

Trying to trade Iguodala, no matter how long it took, always made tons of sense for the Grizzlies. Memphis has been adamant that it will trade Iguodala before Thursday’s deadline or keep him for the rest of the season — and you can understand, for leverage reasons, why they have broadcast that position for months.

But if no trade actually materializes before the deadline, Memphis does have to step back and remind itself that it may need to do business someday with Iguodala’s agent (Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports). The agent factor is typically a big one in the buyout game. If the Grizzlies need Rosenthal’s help down the road, which isn’t hard to imagine given how small the league actually is, refusing to buy out Iguodala would surely not be forgotten.

This whole thing, though, is a tricky case that just keeps getting trickier. Iguodala is catching tons of flak now for his anti-Memphis stance, largely because the 25-25 Grizzlies have so rampantly exceeded expectations. The reality, mind you, is that he has done nothing out of the ordinary. Most veterans in his position, coming off five consecutive trips to the N.B.A. finals, would have tried to get themselves to a contender from Minute 1 just like Iguodala has.