The Houston Rockets are reportedly interested in Andre Iguodala. Here’s why they have no choice but to trade Eric Gordon and offer a 2020 first-rounder.
Houston Rockets fans — the offseason narrative has finally moved back into the team’s corner as the entire basketball world is talking about the blockbusting move the team made last night to trade for Russell Westbrook. The amazing part was that they were able to include Chris Paul in the deal.
It had been clearly obvious that Paul and James Harden weren’t getting along but I just thought they were going to try to work things out this offseason and they’d be back together before the start of the season, hopefully making beautiful music out on the hardwood.
Although I thought a deal was possible, I didn’t think one of this magnitude would’ve taken place between just the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder. I had thought something for Westbrook would require multiple teams in order to move CP3’s contract. But the Thunder have decided to take his contract on and they’re currently finding a trade partner.
Just like how most of us thought — except Daryl Morey — that Ryan Anderson‘s contract was unmovable, a taker was found and that’s the same case with CP3.
Now that Morey has the guy that he wants, the tough part is trying to build the rest of the roster with minimal cap space.
The team was able to sign veteran center Tyson Chandler to a one-year deal, shoring up some concerns the team had last season from the bench in protecting the interior but they’re still not done.
Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies last week in a salary-cutting move to make room for D’Angelo Russell, one of the hottest free agents on the market.
Since Iguodala is in the last season of a three-year, $48 million deal, the Houston Rockets will somehow have to trade away salary to match the $17.2 million that he will make this season.
Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors writes that the team would only have to trade away $12.2 million to make the deal work so the obvious choice is clear as far as who will be the odd man out for the Houston Rockets.
It’s definitely going to be Eric Gordon.
Gordon will make $14.1 million next season, also the final of his four-year, $53 million deal and it makes sense to move his salary to land Iguodala.
Gordon obviously still has terrific value at this stage of his career and it’s tough to have to write this but he’ll have to be a sacrificial lamb in order for us to get tougher in the interior, something this team lacked this past season.
I’d expect Clint Capela to step it up as I’m positive the criticisms he’s hearing has stirred something up inside him.
But adding a player like Iguodala, who would be a perfect fit in this system, changes the narrative of which of the Western Conference teams would wield the most power. The Houston Rockets would definitely be in that mix of teams with a guy like him brought into the fold.
He can shoot threes, rebound, block shots and defend — it’s pretty much everything we ask out of this current team and he does a bit more. And the fact that he has thrived in a tried-and-true, championship and battle-tested system with the Golden State Warriors makes a trade for him even sweeter.
Nonetheless, if they were to trade Gordon, Iguodala should not be the only thing coming back. I’d love
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to have the Grizzlies first-round pick in 2021.
But there are whispers that the Grizzlies don’t want a player, they want a future first-round pick for Iguodala. This would’ve been a fair price for the Houston Rockets but they just gave up four future first-rounders to get Westbrook to H-Town.
So the conversation then goes back to Gordon.
It’s just going to be tough to get a deal done without him in the mix but there’s a possibility that the Houston Rockets don’t have to supply the pick but it’s part of a multi-team deal that ships Gordon elsewhere and the team gets their guy in Iguodala.
But the Houston Rockets still own their first-round picks from 2020-24 even after the Westbrook deal so it’s a no-brainer for this team to pull the trigger. I’d rather give up the 2021 first-rounder but if they ask for 2020, so what? This team is going for it and the time is now! I think it’s worth it for Iggy.
Are Gordon’s days numbered with the Houston Rockets?
We’re about to find out.
Iguodala, 35, averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists with a shooting line of .500/.333/.582 through 68 games — 13 starts — in 2018-19.