Memphis Grizzlies: How the Rockets became front runners for Iguodala

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images /

The future of Andre Iguodala with the Memphis Grizzlies has been in question ever since they traded for him. Now, as the season comes closer and closer, likely trade partners are starting to emerge, with the Houston Rockets chief among them.

The Memphis Grizzlies have had the spotlight on them ever since they received Andre Iguodala in a trade from the Golden State Warriors. With fans and media members alike speculating that they would buy out his contract and let the All-Star wing play out the twilight of his career where he wants.

Then, the Grizzlies shocked everyone when the announced that they would not buy out Iguodala’s contract, and instead was expecting him to report to training camp.

With that news coming out, all of a sudden everyone was speculating. What did this mean for Memphis? How would this make them look in the eyes of other superstars? What’s the advantage of keeping him? What if he took matters into his own hands? But, even in a time when we’re typically low on NBA news, the teams don’t stop making moves.

The  Houston Rockets have signed Nene to a two-year, $20 million deal. At first glance, that number seems suspiciously high. Nene will certainly be coming off the bench, so why give him $10 million a year? Well, long story short, they didn’t. For this season, Nene is only guaranteed $2.6 million, and he’s not guaranteed any money for next season unless he is still on the Rockets on Feb. 15, 2020–nine days after the trade deadline.

So where’s the rest of the $20 million coming in? To summarize the article from CBS, it comes in guarantees that the NBA deem as likely to happen. Because of that, there’s no limit to the percent of money that is an incentive. Since the NBA deems it as likely to happen, they view Nene’s contract as $10 million, but he only gets the extra money if he stays with the Rockets.

But here’s the twist. If the Rockets trade for Iguodala in a package that includes Nene, Nene’s contract would basically drop to $2.56 million. But that only happens when the Rockets trade him.

In order to get Iggy, the Rockets need to offer at least $12 million to make the money match. Not a hard number to hit, considering Nene’s contract is currently sitting at $10 million.

dark. Next. Early Season Trade Destinations for Andre Iguodala

So, if the Rockets trade for Iguodala, then they get a star backup for a team that is already pushing for the championship, Iguodala gets to go to his contender, and Memphis gets Nene and another player for around $5 million, saving them $12 million in the long-run. It’s a win for everyone, and because of that, Iguodala may not stay in Memphis for as long as we thought.