Since he was dumped by the Golden State Warriors last summer to create enough salary cap space to sign D’Angelo Russell, rumors have been continuously swirling around veteran small forward Andre Iguodala and his future with the Memphis Grizzlies. Though the Grizzlies don’t see the need to activate him in the 2019-20 NBA season, Iguodala would be a great addition to NBA teams that are in dire need of a three-and-D wingman to boost their chance of contending for the 2020 NBA championship title. As of now, one of the NBA teams that is currently being linked to Iguodala is the Houston Rockets.
In a recent article, Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report considered Iguodala and the Rockets as a veteran and contender that need each other before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Despite having the explosive backcourt duo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook, the Rockets are still not one of the top favorites to fully dominate the Western Conference and bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season. Ellis believes that the Rockets could change that narrative by trading for Iguodala.
As Ellis noted, the potential acquisition of Iguodala would help the Rockets close the gap between them and the two L.A. “twin towers” — the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Iggy would give the Rockets everything they’ve been missing since they lost Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute following the 2017-18 season. The NBA’s sixth-best defense in 2017-18 plummeted to 17th in 2018-19 and sits at 15th this season. Adding a versatile three-and-D wing who can hit from the corners and lock down perimeter superstars would change the trajectory of a Rockets team that sits sixth in the West. Iggy would do that and then some. Last postseason, Iguodala hit 47.1 percent of his corner threes and averaged 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks.”
Iguodala may no longer be in his prime, but he is indeed a very intriguing acquisition for the Rockets. Iguodala would not only solve the Rockets’ problem in the wing, but he would also help them improve their defensive efficiency which currently ranks No. 15 in the league, allowing 106.9 points per 100 possessions, per ESPN. When the real battle begins in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, Iguodala would give the Rockets someone who could be tasked to guard the likes of Lakers superstar LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers. With the years he spent supporting All-Star-caliber players like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in Golden State, Iguodala won’t mind serving as a sidekick to Harden and Westbrook in Houston.
However, bringing Iguodala to Houston won’t be easy. To match Iguodala’s salary, the Rockets would need to include at least one of Eric Gordon, Clint Capela, and P.J. Tucker in the trade package. With a potential trade with the Grizzlies likely affecting their core, Ellis thinks that the “best bet” for the Rockets in their pursuit of Iguodala is to wait for him to become available on the buyout market.