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CP3, Harden heavily involved in Iguodala recruitment

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A look back on how Iggy nearly became a Rocket.

NBA: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

July 1st seems like an eternity ago. Remember when the Rockets had their eyes set on poaching Andre Iguodala from the Warriors?

Chris Haynes from ESPN dove back into Iguodala’s recruitment process and told his story step-by-step.

First, meetings with the Lakers, Spurs, and Kings took place, but Iguodala had a nine-team recruitment tour that had the Rockets at number four.

When Iguodala met with the Rockets, he was thoroughly impressed. The pitch was lead by Daryl Morey, Tad Brown, Mike D’Antoni, and assistant GM Gersson Rosas. During the meeting, James Harden and Chris Paul interrupted the presentation and took over. Harden and CP3 really wanted Iggy in Houston.

Adding Iggy in Houston to a similar role he had in Golden State would have increased the team’s defensive identity tremendously. Coming off the bench with Eric Gordon and Nene would have made the Rockets’ second team one of the most improved benches in the league, a year after being at the top in that category anyway.

One of Iguodala’s sources called the meeting "the best recruiting presentation of all time."

Iguodala’s camp was so impressed by the situation that he cancelled meetings with the 76ers, the Timberwolves, the Clippers, and the Jazz. Iguodala was ready to become a Rocket.

Unfortunately, given the cap situation the Rockets had, the only way to bring Iggy over was to create a sign-and-trade with Golden State. Iguodala ultimately wanted something better than a 4-year, $32 million deal, which was the maximum deal Houston could offer.

One last meeting with the Warriors was all that stood in between Iguodala coming to Houston. With Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Shaun Livingston all free agents, it looked like Iguodala would not be getting his desired 3-year, $48 million deal. However, the fear from Golden State trading one of their key players to their biggest challenger alarmed the Warriors. Durant and Livingston ultimately took pay cuts to stay in the Bay Area, and it allowed Golden State to clear up the money to bring Iggy back to the Dubs.

With Iguodala out, the Rockets used that money set aside for Iguodala to get P.J. Tucker, another defensive-minded forward off the bench.

If Iguodala changed teams and came to Houston, it would have created a whole new storyline for this budding NBA rivalry. However, the recruitment from Houston’s camp to Iguodala’s team shows how strong Houston is as a free agent destination.