Eric Gordon becomes a restricted free agent this off season. In theory, that shouldn’t mean much: the Hornets can re-sign Gordon and move forward with their franchise shooting guard in tact.
Things don’t always work out, in theory, though. If Gordon has a change in heart, and says he doesn’t want to remain in New Orleans, the team would be hard pressed into whether they should call his bluff and re-sign him, in hopes of negotiating a trade, or letting the talented Indiana product walk.
Four teams have emerged as suitors for Gordon: the Pacers, Suns, Blazers, and Mavericks.
They are four teams in different positions in their franchises’ evolution. The Suns and Blazers are sort of in rebuilding mode, while the Pacers and Mavericks are Playoff teams. All four teams could desperately use Gordon’s shooting touch and athleticism, but won’t be able to obtain him without the Hornets being negligent in signing him.
“Our record (16-42) doesn’t speak for itself, but I’ve been out more than half the season. The Hornets really do have good fans, too. I can’t say too many negatives about it. Overall, it’s better than what people would probably think if they hadn’t lived here. It’s enjoyable,” Gordon said.
Will that enjoyment stand though if the losses continue to amass with Gordon in the lineup? Players hate losing and Gordon is good enough to do something about it if he finds himself miserable on a poor struggling team.
Which team could benefit most from Gordon?
The Pacers already have a talented backcourt with George Hill, Darren Collison, and Paul George.
The Blazers have Raymond Felton (but won’t after this year) and Wesley Matthews.
The Suns are set to lose Steve Nash and Shannon Brown.
And the Mavs have Jason Kidd, Rodrique Beaubois, and Jason Terry.
Needless to say, all the backcourts save the Pacers need some youth and an injection of life, and Gordon could provide that. Also, he could start for all four teams, though that may go without saying.
I think I’d most prefer to see Gordon in Indiana, but this is all assuming he leaves New Orleans to begin with, and that is far from a certainty, nor even a likelihood at this point. Indiana has the youth to plug Gordon right in and not miss a beat. He’d provide timely scoring and bail the team out late in quarters and games.
We’ll keep an eye on Gordon this off season to see if his feelings waver regarding his future with the Hornets. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Source: Real GM Wiretap