Daryl Morey is never done making moves, as he’s always open to making trades. But what are the Rockets’ plans with Iman Shumpert and Nene?
The Rockets just pulled off one of the biggest trades in franchise history when acquiring Russell Westbrook, and anyone who knows Daryl Morey knows better than to think he’s done making moves. He’s always got something up his sleeve whether it comes to fruition or not. He’s also made it known he covets Andre Iguodala, so it would fall in the pecking order for the Rockets to pursue Iggy next.
The Rockets are likely behind the scenes trying to put together a trade package that would appeal to the Memphis Grizzlies, who have made it known that they want to trade Iguodala as opposed to buying him out. Which is why Kelly Iko of The Athletic’s reports of the Rockets shopping Iman Shumpert and Nene for Iguodala come at no surprise. Houston would love to get something back for 2 players they know will not be a part of the roster next year, that’s a no-brainer, especially if it could land them a guy they’ve been wanting all along.
I am glad the Rockets have wisened up and aren’t shopping Eric Gordon or P.J. Tucker in this deal anymore. But there’s no way this package of Nene and Shumpert is enough to land Iguodala, unless Memphis is waiving the white flag, which if they were, they would be buying Iguodala out. And if this package were appealing to Memphis, this trade would have already gotten done a long ago. Which is why reports of this package getting rejected come to no surprise to me.
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Nene is 36 years old and only played 13 minutes per game for Houston last season in only 42 games. Even Nene’s advanced statistics weren’t great, as he averaged 10 points and 8.1 rebounds on 51.7% from the field per 36 minutes. This is not to bash Nene, he obviously is just at a point in his career where he’s an older player with little value. But credit Nene for making it to 17 years in the league, as not many can say that. But I don’t expect the Rockets will yield much back in return for Nene around the league.
However, Iman Shumpert is in a much different situation. Shumpert didn’t necessarily thrive in Houston during the regular season, but played better for the Rockets in the post-season, shooting 36.4% from three and he played good defense. However, he played even better for the Sacramento Kings, which is where he played in 42 of the 62 games he played last season. Shumpert averaged 12.3 points per 36 minutes while shooting 36.6% from three for a young Kings roster prior to coming to Houston. He’s also got championship experience and could certainly provide value to a team, especially a young team. But the question outside is outside of Iguodala, who else are the Rockets interested in pursuing?
One person I’ve always said they SHOULD be pursuing is Robert Covington, as Covington brings more to the table on both ends of the floor than Shumpert. For this very reason, I would think it would take more than Shumpert and Nene, and the Rockets don’t have any sweeteners to include. Gersson Rosas, Daryl Morey’s former running mate, runs the Minnesota Timberwolves so maybe there’s hope, but I would think this deal would have been on the table all along if Rosas was interested in this swap.
It’ll be really interesting to see what value the Rockets are able to get for Shumpert and Nene especially but they’ll probably have a hard time finding a taker for this package. They’ll have an even harder time finding a player they’re interested in whom they could land for a package of Shumpert and Nene.