In the past two seasons, shooting guard Eric Gordon has played only 51 games for the New Orleans Pelicans (Hornets). Gordon came to New Orleans from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade that changed the face of the NBA back in 2011. That deal has definitely worked out in favor of the Clippers thus far.
The thing about Gordon isn’t that he’s untalented or can’t do some impressive things on the floor. His issue is that he can’t stay on the floor. The past couple of seasons, Gordon has struggled to be healthy on a consistent basis, if at all. As the Pelicans move towards the start of the 2013-2014 season, though, Gordon is already dealing with injury concerns.
Gordon missed the Pelicans’ first four games of the preseason with an ankle injury. Obviously that has to put concern in the minds of every New Orleans fan considering that, even though he played half of last season, he was limited the entire season with injuries and never reached him peak effectiveness.
In terms of good news surrounding Gordon, though, he made his debut for this preseason on Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder and looked healthy and good on the floor. In just 21 minutes, Gordon put up 21 points, one assist and one rebound while shooting 6-9 from the floor, 2-3 shooting from three and getting to the foul line eight times.
When healthy and engaged, there’s no way to deny Gordon’s ability. However, his lack of health has caused him not to live up the four-year $58 million contract that he’s playing under in New Orleans. The Pelicans might look to trade him or have him as part of the future, but with that contract the former isn’t possible if doesn’t stay on the floor and show that he’s a productive player in this league. We shall see if he can continue what he started on Thursday.