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RUMOR: Rockets, Clippers still strongly pursuing Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala

The Houston Rockets and the L.A. Clippers have continued their strong pursuit of Memphis Grizzlies veteran forward Andre Iguodala, according to Shams Charania of Stadium.

The sixth man was traded by the Golden State Warriors in order to have enough room to acquire D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade with the Brooklyn Nets, but despite his disinterest in playing for Memphis, a rebuilding team, the Grizzlies are unwilling to waive him outright — choosing rather to trade him and extract at least a first-round pick out of the deal.

“The Grizzlies and GM Zach Kleiman have tried to find a trade partner for Iguodala and get some value back, more than the first-round pick that they acquired from the Warriors to take on his salary. The Dallas Mavericks, the Denver Nuggets have engaged with the Grizzlies at different points, I’m told. Neither has really gained traction. The two teams still strongly pursuing Iguodala are the Rockets and the Clippers, but both teams seem to be at a standstill with the Grizzlies.

“The Rockets, I’m told, are still not comfortable and have been resisting going that deep in the luxury tax to acquire a guy like Iguodala and a sign-and-trade where they give up a draft pick to the Memphis Grizzlies, their tax bill could raise up upwards to $20 million. The Clippers on the other hand, the only salary that makes sense for them in a trade for Iguodala in terms of shipping out is Moe Harkless, the forward they acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers, but I’m told they do not want to put Harkless in any deal for Iguodala.”

So far, it seems both the Rockets and Clippers have explored three- and four-team avenues to make the deal happen, but they’re both hesitant to shell out compensation for a player that could be available for them to sign outright as a free agent.

The fear of losing this race, however, is that if the Grizzlies do buy him out, he could soon wind up as the newest addition of the Los Angeles Lakers, as Iguodala still has strong ties to former agent and general manager Rob Pelinka.