The NBA franchise in New Orleans now known as the Pelicans has been plenty busy this offseason, but all of their moves have involved relatively big-name guards who have the ability to score.
On the surface, that seems like an odd choice.
Eric Gordon is in that position for the Pelicans at a salary of over $14 million, escalating up to $15.5 million over the next three seasons. When healthy he’s a dynamic scorer who many believe is deserving of that contract, but the fact is that he’s managed to play only 51 games in total over the last two seasons due to injury.
There’s also the little issue of Gordon wanting out of New Orleans when he was a restricted free agent, when he famously said his “heart was in Phoenix” after signing a max offer sheet to play for the Suns, which the then-Hornets went ahead and matched.
The moves made by the club so far have Gordon changing his tune, however, and he not only sounds happier to be where he is, but expects to be back next season.
“I’m all in with the Pelicans,” said Gordon, who has been friends with Holiday and Evans since their AAU days. “It would be great if we can all play together. I would say we’d definitely have a chance to make the playoffs.”
While Gordon and point guard Greivis Vasquez could be candidates for a sign-and-trade, Gordon doesn’t expect that to be the case for him.
“I wouldn’t say I’m 100 percent, but I do feel comfortable I am coming back,” Gordon said. “I think there is a good to great chance I will be back.”
The Pelicans made a draft-day trade to acquire All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday from the Sixers, and have tendered a four-year, $44 million offer sheet to Tyreke Evans, which he has reportedly agreed to sign.
Despite Gordon’s hunches, he may indeed be a candidate for a trade if the team believes his injury history or attitude is no longer a match for the franchise. But it’s not a surprise that for now, Greivis Vasquez is the odd man out in New Orleans, given his serviceable skill set at a much more affordable price.