When Kemba Walker sprained his ankle, the Charlotte Bobcats were obviously going to have to delve into their bench at the guard position for the following couple of weeks in the 2013-14 NBA season. Last season, an injury to Walker would have meant a heavy dose of Ben Gordon, but that hasn’t been the case thus far.
Gordon hasn’t played since Walker went down and for some time before that. In fact, Gordon hasn’t touched the floor in 11 of the Bobcats’ last 12 games. With Ramon Sessions starting at point guard, veteran Jannero Pargo and Chris Douglas-Roberts have been filling out most of the reserve minutes in Charlotte’s backcourt.
Pargo has been an offensive sparkplug since the Walker injury, though his defense has been putrid. CDR has been on a similar path, but has been much more unreliable than Pargo as of late. Despite who’s getting these minutes for the Bobcats, though, the best sign for the franchise and their future is the fact that they aren’t resorting to throwing Gordon out on the floor.
After showing a decline in his effectiveness last season, that’s only continued for the 30-year-old guard. Gordon, whose primary value is derived from him being a perimeter scorer, has shot just 35.7 percent from the field and only 26.9 percent from deep this season. He’s not been able to do the one thing he’s paid to do with this team and new head coach Steve Clifford, it seems, isn’t going to tolerate that.
Gordon could be a potential trade-chip for Charlotte leading up to the Feb. 20 NBA Trade Deadline, but his value is relatively low right now, especially with a pretty sizeable contract following him. Either way, it’s great to see the Bobcats not playing a player solely based on his salary rather than based on his merits as an NBA player. For an organization that has been through as much losing as the Bobcats, that’s promising for them for the rest of this year and beyond.