Eric Gordon remains as a potential trade chip for the New Orleans Hornets this upcoming summer after the team was unable to deal the shooting guard before the February trade deadline, according to The Times-Picayune. Sources told the paper that the team would be open to hearing offers for the shooting guard, who this summer inked a new four-year, $58 million deal.
The Phoenix Suns signed Gordon to an offer sheet before the 2012-13 season, and despite him saying his "heart was in Phoenix," the Hornets matched the restricted free agent's deal. That didn't sit well with fans in New Orleans, nor coach Monty Williams, who after the re-signing said he'd only deal with players who wanted to be with the Hornets, The Times-Picayune reported.
"I just think when you're going through free agency and you're talking about that kind of money, certain things are said and felt,'' Williams said. "At the same time, I'm not going to back off that stance: We want people that want to be here. If you don't want to be here, then we have to make some adjustments.''
Gordon was just this past week involved in a shouting match with Williams on Friday, which led to his benching. He returned Sunday night to score 17 points and drop six dimes against the Suns.
And though Gordon backed off his statements about wanting to land in Phoenix after New Orleans matched his offer sheet, it hasn't helped that he's struggling in the first year of his deal. He missed 40 games this season while dealing with a lingering knee injury and is shooting just 40 percent from the floor while averaging a mediocre 16.5 points per game -- not averages impressive enough for a volume shooter to warrant a max deal.
But while New Orleans goes through a rebuilding stage, matching the Suns' offer at least gives them the opportunity to receive assets in return for Gordon this summer and beyond.
Of course, the ability to deal Gordon hinges upon the 6'3, 215-pound scorer proving he's not an injury-prove, undersized shooting guard.