The Houston Rockets aren’t done yet in putting together the team they hope can compete for an NBA title, with their eyes now reportedly set on landing Andre Iguodala.
The Rockets shook up the Western Conference this week by trading for Russell Westbrook, pairing him back with James Harden after their time together in Oklahoma City and signaling that Houston is willing to make big moves to keep up with the rapidly rebuilding Lakers and Clippers. As NBC Sportsreported, the Rockets are now looking for another acquisition that might help shore up the defensive liabilities from having Harden and Westbrook on the court at the same time.
The report noted that the Rockets are prioritizing Iguodala, who was shipped to Memphis in a trade that cleared the way for D’Angelo Russell. Sam Amick of The Athletic noted that the Rockets were trying to trade for the veteran swingman, and were also looking to add Tyson Chandler (a move that has since been completed).
As The Sporting News noted, Iguodala’s contributions to the Golden State Warriors didn’t show up as much on the stat sheet, as last year he averaged just 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. The report said he was still in high demand due to his defensive presence.
Actually landing Andre Iguodala could be tricky for the Rockets. As The Inquisitr noted, the Grizzlies reportedly want a first-round pick in return, and the Rockets just parted with first-round picks in 2024 and 2026 to the Thunder to land Westbrook, along with pick swaps in 2021 and 2025.
If the Grizzlies can’t find anyone willing to part with a first-rounder for Iguodala, the team is reportedly ready to start the season with him on the roster. The steep price may turn teams off, especially given Iguodala’s unclear statements about his future in the NBA. As The Sporting News noted, the 35-year-old Iguodala has hinted that he doesn’t plan to play much longer.
— Robert Littal (@BSO) July 13, 2019
“I’m keeping it to myself, but it’s going to be soon,” he said when asked about when he plans to retire. “I can play four or five more years. But I won’t.”
That could leave the Houston Rockets to decide whether it’s worth parting with another first-round pick for the chance at going all-in for an NBA title in the next few years, or if the team wants to keep at least some picks in their back pocket to build young — and cheaper — talent around Harden and Westbrook.