When new Charlotte Bobcats coach Steve Clifford starts debating on what his plans will be for Ben Gordon next season, he has to make sure if it’s even worth considering such plans. In other words, should Gordon remain a Bobcat?
The correct answer to that would be: yes, but only if Clifford uses him wisely. Gordon can still be an asset to the Bobcats if his full potential is used all the time. That was not the case in three miserable seasons for Gordon with the Detroit Pistons and was not the case under former coach Mike Dunlap.
Gordon probably would not fit in to the Bobcats lineup as a starter but he should probably be the first or second player off the bench. He still has plenty of skills he can bring the team.
Last season, with Gordon hitting 11.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.9 average a game, all Dunlap wanted him for was scoring.
Gordon is actually capable of being more of a rebounder and playmaker than he was allowed to do last season. Defensively, he’s still so-so, which has put him in a disfavor with recent coaches.
His 20.8 minutes per game last season was his nine-year NBA career. For the first time in his career, he didn’t start a game. In his last year with the Chicago Bulls, he started 76 of 82 games. He averaged 20.7 that season.
Clifford needs to define Gordon’s role and determine how to get the most out of him. There’s no need to trade him to another team. He can still be a valuable Bobcat.