The Houston Rockets are still in hot pursuit of Andre Iguodala’s services as he’d be the perfect addition to make the team much stronger. How so?
The Houston Rockets are still near the pinnacle of the Western Conference with a 20-9 record, currently good for third place. They’ve pretty much picked up right where they’ve left off from last season, sans Chris Paul and adding Russell Westbrook to the mix.
Ben McLemore has been a key component for the team off the bench with his solid defense and improved three-point shooting. This man was on his way out of the league but he has found a home with the Houston Rockets, extending his career that much longer.
McLemore was the 7th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft so to see his fall and rise within such a short amount of time is nothing short of remarkable. I think he just needed to find a philosophical fit with a team that suits his strengths and the Houston Rockets are certainly that team.
But while all of that is going on, the Houston Rockets are still missing something by way of interior defense, rebounding and could use another weapon from behind-the-arc to make them that much stronger.
Andre Iguodala, 35, is certainly the type of veteran player that would fit the categorization of what the team needs but he’s still under contract with the Memphis Grizzlies, after being traded there this past offseason.
Marc Stein of the New York Times is reporting that the Houston Rockets are “stubbornly” holding out hope that he will be bought out, which still does indicate strong interest in three-time NBA champion.
The Grizz are holding onto Iggy as an asset and prefer to package him in a trade rather than buy him out, which is what many cash-strapped teams, like the Houston Rockets, prefer to happen.
Nonetheless, if a deal can be done, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is going to find a way but the problem is that the majority of the team’s roster that has some value attached will be hard to move and not enough to equate to the value of the remainder of Iggy’s deal.
Iguodala is in the final season of a three-year, $48 million deal he signed with the Golden State Warriors that will pay him $17.2 million for this season.
The red-letter, moratorium date of Dec. 15 has passed indicating that teams can make deals for players that were acquired this offseason, certainly making Iggy available.
With about a third of this season completed, that means he still owed approximately $11.5 million
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the rest of the way so remains to be seen if teams will wait until February for that number to go down or someone rushing to make a trade, in desperation of making a dent in a playoff run.
It wouldn’t make sense for a cash-rich team that isn’t within the top of the league to make the deal because they’re focused on building their team for the future. Although the Grizz would be one of the team’s in the NBA to fit that category, the reasoning behind their deal for him is to fetch the highest value for the amount they invested in him in that trade with Golden State.
So at the moment, the best route for the Houston Rockets is to try to buy him out if the Grizz cry uncle and let him go but it’s too early to tell if that’s going to happen.
Until then, we’ll just have to wait to see what happens. I’d love to have him on board.
Iguodala has yet to play a game this season as the Grizz find a taker on his contract, they say he’s “injured,” but all know that they want their prized asset in tip-top shape for a trade. He currently is not with the team and is amazingly being paid not to play.
Iggy averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and a shooting line of .500/.333/.582 through 68 games — 13 starts — for the Warriors last season.