There was a time three years ago when Eric Gordon looked like the best young two guard in the NBA, a guy on the rise who could be a key cornerstone of a franchise. Then came a lot of injuries (and a lot of questions about rehab, and questions about his desire to play in New Orleans). But the Pelicans rolled the dice that he would return to form and matched the Phoenix Suns four-year, $58 million offer.
Sometimes the dice come up craps.
Actually, Gordon hasn’t been bad — 15.6 points a game this season with a true shooting percentage of 53.8 percent, he can knock down the three (38.5 percent) and get you some assists (3.1 per game). Basically, he’s a little better than an average NBA player, just one making $14.3 million this season with two years and $30.4 million left on the deal.
New Orleans has made contact with several teams about Gordon, even devising three-team scenarios in order to find him a new home.
The Pelicans first began seeking trade options for Gordon last summer, after acquiring point guard Jrue Holiday from Philadelphia on draft night and getting swingman Tyreke Evans in a sign-and-trade from Sacramento….
“He has been healthy and he has played better,” one league executive told Sporting News. “But he is a still a long way from living up to what you have to pay him. His contract is still the big reason they are not able to do anything with him at this point.”
What the Suns want is front-court help. Ideally they want a real center to pair with Anthony Davis with a real center (remember they traded Robin Lopez out as part of the Tyreke Evans trade, and Jason Smith is not the long-term answer. Of course, the Pelicans also are now without the injured Ryan Anderson (he’s fantastic off the bench for them, they slide Davis over to the center spot and it was very effective).
This is something to watch, but in a cost-conscious NBA it’s hard to see any team taking on Gordon and that contract. Never say never, but I wouldn’t bet the rent money on it.