Eric Gordon played through bone spurs second half of season

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Eric Gordon missed the first 29 games of the season, skipping out of New Orleans to rehab his knee (following surgery) back in Los Angeles. That didn’t sit well with then Hornets/now Pelicans fans.

When he did return, he was on a minutes/games restriction (for example, no back-to-backs until the very end of the season) and when he did play he wasn’t his old self. He averaged 17 points a game but only was shooting 40.2 percent, with a PER right at the league average of 15.4.

Gordon blamed part of that on injuries and, as we told you last week, he had surgery to clean up his ankles last week.

But it was worse than he let on — Gordon played through bone spurs after the All-Star break, reports the Times-Picyune.

“My ankle bothered me everyday, even on days when I wasn’t active,” Gordon said in an email response after he was contacted on Tuesday. “I had a minor procedure done, because I have been dealing with bone spurs since the all-star break. I wanted to get the surgery done now so I can go into training camp at 100 percent healthy and be in top shape.”

Gordon’s numbers after the All-Star break were pretty similar to those before: He averaged 16.4 points a game before and 17.4 after, with an almost identical overall shooting percentage (his three point shooting did drop 5 percent). That said, his offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) did dive five points and his defense got worse. He wasn’t right.

Gordon will be back in Los Angeles much of the summer but may make some of the Pelican’s voluntary summer workouts, he told the paper. He was frustrated by the assortment of injuries last season slowing him down and said he just wants to get healthy.

The Pelicans are going to shop Gordon around this summer, but the likely will not find an offer for a max player coming off surgeries and a tough year.

Report: First-round draft prospect says Phil Jackson fell asleep during his workout

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II
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Like I said, there are better reasons to criticize Phil Jackson than him saying his priority was the Knicks and that he had discussed trading Kristaps Porzingis.

Jay Williams of ESPN:

A top-15 draft pick told me the other day, because we were involved in this out of this conversation about Phil Jackson and the Knicks, and he said, “Phil Jackson was falling in and out of sleep in my workout.”

Yes. “Falling in and out of sleep at my workout.” This is what this guy told me.

Especially given Jackson’s salary and reputation for not being a diligent worker, this story is too good to check out.

O.G. Anunoby invited to NBA draft, Harry Giles declines

AP Photo/Darron Cummings
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The NBA’s invitations to the draft are a good indicator of when players will get drafted. The league samples executives, who are more likely to be honest here than in leaks to the media, about how they rank players. So, the list is worth monitoring.

The players who will attend tonight’s draft nearly match the leaks – with one exception. O.G. Anunoby is going, and Harry Giles isn’t.

Here are the players who will be at the draft – a reasonable placeholder for the players most likely to get picked in the top 20 – via A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England:

Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress:

Harry Giles declined his invite sources told DraftExpress.

Did Giles decline his invite because, with his extensive injury history, he feared falling too far? Or did he just prefer to watch elsewhere?

Was Anunoby simply 21st on the NBA’s list of players to invite? Or was the league too unsure of his medical status to include him until getting a stronger grasp now?

I don’t know, but the possibility that Giles could slip or Anunoby is more secure alters my perception of their draft stock (Anunoby up, Giles down).

Report: Knicks’ asking price for Kristaps Porzingis ‘massive’

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What has Phil Jackson actually done? He discussed trading Kristaps Porzingis with other teams and called the Knicks, not Porzingis, his priority. That’s it.

At face value, this is fine. It’s what devoted executives, not always Jackson, should do.

Jackson hasn’t traded Porzingis for meager return. He hasn’t traded Porzingis at all.

Everyone up in arms should take a deep breath.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe:

David Aldridge of NBA.com:

I wouldn’t rule out the Knicks trading Porzingis. The No. 1 pick got traded, after all. I wouldn’t rule out them trading Porzingis for too little return. Look at Jackson’s track record running the front office.

But wait until they do before bashing Jackson for not understanding Porzingis’ value.

There are plenty of better reasons to criticize Jackson, including overseeing the toxic culture that led to Porzingis skipping his exit interview and setting this latest “crisis” into motion. Publicly discussing trading Porzingis won’t endear Jackson to the budding star, but the problem is how it reached this point. Players in sound organizations can handle this. Jackson has engendered little confidence from his players, the distrust existed well before this round of trade talks.

Lonzo Ball recruits LeBron James to Lakers (video)

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Lonzo Ball doesn’t play for the Lakers. LeBron James isn’t a free agent.

But they’re headed that way – and Ball is already embracing it.

The Lakers are expected to draft Ball No. 2 tonight, and rumors are heating up about LeBron leaving the Cavaliers in 2018.

Why should LeBron join Ball in Los Angeles?

Ball on ESPN:

LeBron, I like to win. I know you like to win. I think our games can help each other out a lot. Any time you want the ball, just let me know. It’s going to be there.

Ball was asked to to pitch LeBron, so it’s not as if Ball is out here talking so brashly on his own. But answering the question was a rookie mistake.

Besides, I’m not sure Lonzo Ball can undo the bad blood between LeBron and LaVar Ball.