The New Orleans Hornets were never going to let Eric Gordon go, the only question was how much it was going to cost to keep him.
The answer is a max deal, $58 million over four years.
Gordon, a restricted free agent, had been meeting with teams all over the map trying to find someone, anyone to give him a max deal. Because he wants to get paid. He found his partner in Phoenix. Gordon released a statement Tuesday night saying he was excited about becoming a Sun.
“After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible. Mr. Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach (Alvin) Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now,” Gordon said in his statement.
Not so fast, Suns fans.
The Hornets have the right to match any offer and they want badly to pair Gordon with No. 1 overall pick Anthony Davis. And they will, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports and the NBC Sports Network.
The New Orleans Hornets will match the 4-year, $58 million offer sheet Eric Gordon agreed to sign with Phoenix, league source tells Y!
So while nobody can sign anything until July 11, we now know how the Eric Gordon saga will play out. He’s staying in the Big Easy.
With Gordon, Davis and young players like No. 10 pick Austin Rivers the Hornets are starting to build the foundation of a future contender. There is a long way to go still, but it would have been a much longer road without Gordon, arguably the best young shooting guard in the game.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.
After a bumpy season where the he fought with Suns coaches, then a summer where he and his twin Marcus felt they were blindsided by a trade, Markieff Morris has been plenty vocal about his unhappiness in Phoenix. To the point it has cost him some serious cash.
So what should we expect from Markieff Morris’ upcoming season?
Relative calm, I tell Jenna Corrado of NBCSports in this latest edition of PBT Extra previewing the NBA season.
The reasons are twofold. First, he has to realize the Suns aren’t trading him anyway (especially not while he publicly demands a trade, lowering his trade value). Second, can you imagine how new locker room leader Tyson Chandler is going to react to that? Chandler was brought in to fill a leadership void in the locker room, and you can bet he will make his displeasure at such team-disrupting antics known.
Still not sure if that’s enough to get the Suns to the playoffs.