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RUMOR: Rockets unlikely to trade for Andre Iguodala, but could make deal if Grizzlies asking price comes down

Andre Iguodala

The Houston Rockets have been long interested in Memphis Grizzlies forward Andre Iguodala, though with no seamless pathway to make a trade work.

The Rockets have become more and more unlikely to deal for the 2015 NBA Finals MVP after acquiring Russell Westbrook and giving up a few of their first-rounders in exchange, rendering them devoid of useful draft compensation.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, who told colleague Omari Sankofa II of the Rockets’ thinking; if the Rockets want to avoid the waiting game and go into the 2019-20 season as the best version of themselves, they should pull the trigger for Iguodala. Yet the pathway to a trade could prove tricky, given what the Grizzlies are hoping to yield out of the trade — a first round pick.

Memphis already received a first-rounder from the Golden State Warriors to take on Iggy’s $17 million expiring contract. Not only are other teams privy of this information, but not many are willing to give up a potentially talented future prospect for an aging player who might be playing his last year in the league after several injuries and load management stints.

Iko maintained that any potential trade must include Iman Shumpert’s contract in it:

“If Houston is willing to trade, it has to involve Iman Shumpert. But the asset Memphis is obviously looking for is a first-round pick. They haven’t been able to get a team to cough one up for a 35-year-old wing, which is why Iguodala remains on the roster. Houston already sent two firsts to move Chris Paul’s contract, would they be content sending another? They’ve been hesitant so far. Frankly, I don’t see why they should. I’d argue that Shumpert’s contract and two seconds should get it done if Memphis just wants something in return.”

That trade pathway hinges on a war of attrition and several weeks of coming up empty in talks for Iguodala, forcing the Grizzlies to kick their price down a notch and get something in exchange for the veteran.