Report: Houston Rockets not frontrunners to land Iguodala if bought out

Houston Rockets Andre Iguodala (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Andre Iguodala (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets will likely be forced to move on from the possibility of landing Andre Iguodala if he’s bought out.

The Houston Rockets have made it known that they’re interested in adding Andre Iguodala. After all, even though the roster is in good shape considering the additions over the summer, it never hurts to add a veteran three-time champion to your team.

The Memphis Grizzlies made it clear that they weren’t interested in buying out Iguodala, which effectively blocked the Rockets’ path of acquiring him. But General Manager Daryl Morey is viewed as one of the best in the league, so was surely going to get creative in trying to land Iggy, even if it meant trading for him and getting into the luxury tax apron.

The Rockets tried compiling a sign and trade package for veteran big man Nene and former forward Iman Shumpert but again were unable to get Memphis to bite.

The final attempt Daryl Morey made was putting together a creative contract for Nene, which could have been what sealed the deal for landing Iguodala, as the Grizzlies would have likely been able to land a first-round draft pick and cut ties with Nene. However, with the league voiding Nene’s original contract, the Rockets’ hopes of acquiring Iggy in a trade were erased.

At this juncture, however, Memphis is possibly realizing their asking price was too high, which is why they’ve not been able to trade Andre. In addition, teams know Memphis has no leverage as they’ll be forced to buy him out now that they’ve been unable to move him.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on an episode of the Lowe Post podcast, the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers are the front-runners to sign Iguodala if bought out:

“It’s the two LA teams. It’s the Lakers and it’s the Clippers. If there is a buyout at some point and if Memphis can’t trade him, that’s where that will come down to those two teams…

“Iguodala’s fine with seeing what the landscape looks like and then jumping in on the season a little later [during the season].”

The Lakers being on this list isn’t necessarily a surprise, as Iggy’s former agent Rob Pelinka is the general manager of the Lakers, so the personal ties are certainly there. Between the Rockets and the Lakers, the Rockets are expected to go further in the playoffs this season, so it would be an interesting choice by the swingman.

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The Clippers would be a strategic pick by Iguodala as he could very well get significant playing time in Lob City. Since their new stars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard each have an injury history, Andre could get an increase in minutes when load management rears its head. George is currently rehabbing surgeries he had on each shoulder and will surely need time to recover.

With Iggy on the Clippers, they will be able to give PG-13 time to heal and recover. If Iguodala is looking for the best opportunity to have the most playing time, the Clippers are probably the best choice.

But it’s important to remember that if bought out, Iguodala would only have one year on his deal, so if he’s looking for the best opportunity to win a title this season, the Rockets would give him the best shot.

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The fact that the Rockets don’t even make his final list is interesting and could end up being a decision he regrets if Houston plays to its potential this season.