Andre Iguodala considered signing with the Houston Rockets in free agency, before the Warriors won him over.
The Houston Rockets’ great offseason nearly turned into an extraordinary offseason. Andre Iguodala nearly signed with Houston during his surprisingly turbulent summer.
Since the Warriors began their three consecutive Finals trips back in 2015, Iguodala has averaged fewer points than he did in his rookie season. The 2015 Finals MVP has taken a backseat on offense, and placed his focus on becoming a defensive powerhouse.
Iguodala isn’t the first person that comes to mind when you think about the Warriors, because he doesn’t put up eye-popping numbers night after night. But he’s the glue-guy. Iguodala plays an integral role in the Warriors success, even though he’s often overshadowed.
When the free agency period rolled around, Iguodala expected the Warriors to offer him a lucrative contract. He was looking for $16 million a year, and nothing less, but the Warriors initial offer fell short.
According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, the Rockets met with Iguodala on July 1, the first day of free agency. They tried to sell Iggy on the fact that he would save money by signing with the Rockets. Citing that Texas doesn’t have a state income tax and that California has a ridiculously high cost of living.
The Rockets’ star players make a great recruiting pitch.
According to Haynes, James Harden called Daryl Morey in the middle of the meeting, completely oblivious to what was taking place. Then, Harden asked to speak with Iguodala over the phone, apologized and wished him luck throughout the summer.
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Then, Chris Paul unexpectedly stormed into the meeting and pitched Iguodala for about 20 minutes. He talked about the transparency of the team and how much Iguodala would enjoy playing for Houston, according to Haynes.
By the end of the meeting, an impressed Andre Iguodala called it “the best recruiting presentation of all time,” according to Haynes.
Andre cancelled his remaining meetings and grappled over his final two choices: Rockets or Warriors?
Eventually, the Warriors were able to offer Iguodala a three-year, $48 million deal. The Rockets could only offer Andre a four-year $32 million deal, without doing a sign-and-trade with the Warriors, said Haynes.
It’s unfortunate that the Rockets couldn’t convince Iggy to come to Houston. Not only is he a premier perimeter defender, but he’s also a great playmaker. Also, his versatility allows him to play some power forward, which would allow Houston to switch every pick-and-roll defensively.
Even more importantly, the Warriors would’ve lost one of their most important players to a rival team. Something that would make the rest of the NBA smile, as everyone tries to slay the giant that is the Golden State Warriors.