During the free agency period last season, New Orleans Hornets restricted free agent guard Eric Gordon was pretty transparent about his desire to play elsewhere. Gordon signed a max offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns and even went public with statements saying his heart was in Phoenix and pleaded for the Hornets not to match the offer. But New Orleans indeed chose to match, and now after a disappointing season for Gordon the Hornets are faced with the decision of finally letting Gordon move on.
Gordon was benched by head coach Monty Williams after the two got into a shouting match in a game against the Utah Jazz last week, but it’s not as if playing without Gordon isn’t something the Hornets haven’t become accustomed to. In the last two seasons since the Hornets landed Gordon in the Chris Paul trade, Gordon has only played in a total of 46 games out of a possible 143 with New Orleans due to lingering “knee injuries”.
Even when Gordon has played he has been a shell of the player that averaged over 18 points a game through his first three NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers. His scoring averaged hasn’t dipped to much down to 17.3 points, but his shooting percentage is only .412 with the Hornets and his attitude and lack of enthusiasm has been evident.
Gordon still has some trade value given that most of the league is aware of his desire not to be in New Orleans. He’s still just 24 years old and still capable of scoring in bunches when motivated. A player pouting his way out of town might not be the most professional way to handle a situation, but Gordon did express his desire to play for the Suns before the Hornets forced him to stay in New Orleans.
The Hornets should indeed part with Gordon this summer and send him back to where he originally wanted to be in Phoenix. The Suns have some desirable first round draft picks that they can use to acquire Gordon plus they still need a shooting guard to pair with Goran Dragic, so both teams and Gordon would benefit from making a deal this summer.