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I’ve salivated over this possible marriage before and the newest edition of “A Walk Around The Block” (a must-read series on players on the trading block by Noam Schiller over at BothTeamsPlayedHard) got me to thinking about Andre Iguodala and the Houston Rockets once again. And everytime I think about the two parties potentially joining together, I can’t help but get giddy.
Houston should be after this guy. They have assets to deal and adding a piece like Iguodala could vault their team into the top tier in the Western Conference. An offer with Jared Jeffries, Jordan Hill, and a couple of first round picks may be enough to entice the 76ers, who drafted Evan Turner this summer, a similar player to Andre that can play the same position in his absence. If Philly declined, Daryl Morey could throw in Chase Budinger as well.
Instead of continuing with hypothetical proposals, I’m going to skip past the potential trade scenarios and look at how Iguodala fits with the Rockets.
As of right now, the Rockets’ starting line-up looks like this: Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, Luis Scola and Yao Ming. That’s an amazing offensive unit right there and nobody in the starting five would be being sent out of town with the deal mentioned above. With Iguodala, you slide him at the three and move battier to the bench. Now Houston would have a Brooks/Martin/Iguodala/Scola/Ming line-up with a bench made up of Battier, Kyle Lowry, Courtney Lee, Jermaine Taylor, Chuck Hayes, Patrick Patterson and Brad Miller.
Take a minute to let that soak in. They traded three rotation level players in Jeffries, Hill and Budinger and they still have seven quality players on the bench. That’s one of the deepest teams in the league, without question.
And what Iguodala brings to the team makes them a top notch club. Andre could be the primary defender on the team, allowing Battier to come in and lockdown his man for shorter stretches, which may be the best option at this point in his career, which is something the Rockets need to have with the defensive liabilities they have in the starting line-up (Brooks, Martin and Scola are all below average). Iguodala and Battier could make for one of the best duo’s in the league on that end, similar to what Ron Artest and Battier did two seasons ago.
Offensively, for the first time in his career, Iguodala would be surrounded by four offensive threats at every other position. Brooks was the most improved player in the league last season thanks to a barrage of three-pointers, Kevin Martin is always one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA year in and year out despite his quirky shooting form, Luis Scola put up 16/9 last season and has a very effective post-game and scoop shot, and Ming could very well be the best center in the league right now if it wasn’t for injuries, and certainly, at least offensively, he is still among the elite scorers in the game.
As I mentioned in his scouting report, Iguodala is best suited for a role as a distributor/defender while scoring his buckets when the opportunities present themselves, not as the primary offensive option. With Houston, he could create shots for the other offensive stars on this team and slash to the bucket when teams leave him to cover the Rockets’ betters shooters. He could even play some point guard, bringing the ball up the floor while Brooks lines up from either wing to spot up for three’s.
The Rockets may also be in the market for Carmelo Anthony, at least that’s the rumor, but adding a dynamic player like Iguodala would actually bring more value to the team in my opinion as they are lacking defensive stoppers, which is Andre’s best attribute, and players that can distribute the ball to their multitude of scoring options, again, a strength of Iguodala. With Andre in town, I think Houston becomes a top four team in the West and could go deep in the playoffs depending on the match-ups they wind up with.