The New Orleans Pelicans spent the latter half of their last regular season in the NBA as the Hornets focusing on developing their youthful guys. They gave consistently large roles to guys like Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Greivis Vasquez. When he was healthy, they also consistently kept Eric Gordon on the floor often.
Gordon played in just 42 games for the Hornets this season, missing several games due to injury and his recovery plan from said injury that wouldn’t allow him to play back-to-backs. In those 42 games he averaged 30.1 minutes per game and was the focal-point of the offense when he was on the floor, posting a lofty 27.8 percent usage percentage. Though he was the Hornets leading scorer, his stats weren’t particularly impressive as he averaged just 17 points, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.8 rebounds per game on poor 40.2 percent shooting from the field and equally poor 32.4 percent shooting from long range.
There’s no denying the simple fact that Gordon is a talented basketball player that has a place in this league. However, this year proved two things that we already know about Gordon: he has never shown the ability to be the leader and primary option for a young, inexperienced team and he has trouble staying on the floor.
As the Pelcians are working towards their future with their bright young nucleus, the smart option for them this summer is to shop Gordon on the trade market. He may be the player in New Orleans with the most talent, but he’s also a bad fit schematically for this team and has served as more of a distraction than anything over the past couple of years. Gordon has the chance to be successful in the NBA, but that chance doesn’t lie with the Pelicans.