With Nene’s new incentive-filled contract, the Houston Rockets are in a position to have the best chance out of all contenders to land Andre Iguodala — but is waiting around just for a chance to sign him worth it?
Since Andre Iguodala was traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Memphis Grizzlies over the summer, the Houston Rockets have shown heavy interest in acquiring the services of the swingman who’s been a long-time thorn in their side.
In a recent article from CBS Sports, Sam Quinn explained why Nene’s contract could be beneficial towards acquiring Iggy. In a potential trade, Nene’s contract will take up $10 million in cap space, but the Rockets, or any other team, will not necessarily have to pay Nene that amount. The inflation that Nene’s contract has against the cap has to do with the “likely incentives” that the Rockets have cleverly put in his contract.
An incentive is labeled “likely” if the figure was met the season before, and because the Rockets loaded Nene’s contract with multiple “likely” incentives, it raised Nene’s salary figure to $10 million.
Even though Houston now essentially has a $10 million trade chip, the Rockets would still fall short in reaching the $13.7 million needed to acquire Iguodala.
The Grizzlies, of course, would not want to do a straight-up Nene for Iguodala swap regardless, as their main focus is on young assets. Unfortunately, Houston is short on draft picks due to the blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade, but they do have some promising young talent.
Why Houston should move on
In any trade scenario between Memphis and Houston, the Grizzlies will likely push for the inclusion of Danuel House Jr. in the deal. House’s value against the cap is only about $3.54 million, so his contract, along with Nene’s, would still not be enough to complete a deal.
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In addition to the numbers not adding up, House’s value for the Rockets is an even bigger reason that involving him in a trade for the 35-year-old Iguodala is not wise. Last season, House averaged 9.4 points per game while shooting 41.6 percent on 3-point shots.
Danuel also finished the season with a 64.6 true shooting percentage, which factors in field goals, 3-pointers, and free throws to determine overall efficiency. Only Clint Capela had a higher true shooting percentage on the team when looking at players in the regular rotation.
Iguodala, on the other hand, averaged just 5.7 points per game last season while shooting 33.3 percent on 3-pointers, finishing the year with a true shooting percentage of 58.7.
The biggest argument one could make for acquiring Iguodala is how he has performed in the playoffs in the past. Iguodala’s numbers did rise to 9.8 points per game on 35 percent from downtown last postseason, but his health was a major concern, and he went the entire Western Conference Finals without hitting a single three.
Trading away House, who is a promising 26-years-old, is very short-sighted for a team that will be restricted when it comes to acquiring young talent for the foreseeable future.
Nene’s contract is an enormous asset for the Rockets, but it may still not be enough to acquire Iggy on its own. Considering Memphis is continuing to play hardball with Andre and the rest of the league, it may be best for the Rockets to move on.