If experience is a teaching tool, perhaps the New Orleans Hornets may have experienced a change of heart concerning Eric Gordon and his future in The Big Easy.
Gordon has agreed to terms on a $58 million offer sheet over four years with the Phoenix Suns, a maximum deal. Gordon is expected to sign the offer sheet on July 11th, according to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.
New Orleans would have three days to match the offer or lose Gordon to Phoenix.
But the situation is not so simple for the rebuilding Hornets. New Orleans has made clear its intentions to match any offer Gordon receives, but the rising star shooting guard has made it public that he would perfer to be a Sun.
"After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible," Gordon said in a prepared statement. "Mr. Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now."
NBA beat writer Sam Amick reports the discouraging words have not at least intially changed the minds of top Hornets' brass, who still intend to match the Phoenix offer.
However, the Hornets are in a full-blown rebuilding mode after the NBA Draft in which they took forward Anthony Davis with the No. 1 pick and guard Austin Rivers at No. 10. The plan was to make Gordon, the main return piece to New Orleans in last December's trade that sent superstar point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers, the centerpiece of Hornets.
Will the thought process to keep Gordon continue, based on his inflammatory comments, which may be viewed as nefarious by an excited fan base in New Orleans, would it be wise to go down a path with a star player who wants to depart?
If history has taught Demps and Williams anything, perhaps they will have cause for pause, take a deep breath and then exhale before deciding what to do with Gordon. Can you say CP3?
Ironically, the 23-year-old Gordon beat the Suns 86-85 in Phoenix on a 20-footer from the top of the key with 4.8 seconds remaining on December 26, 2011. It was clearly Gordon's highlight to date as a Hornet, considering the fact that he played in just nine games last season. He averaged 20.6 points per game in 2011-12.
Ironically, Gentry previously served as a an assistant with the Hornets under Tim Floyd in the 2003-2004 season.
No one would consider the Suns a real threat in the Western Conference heading into the 2012-2013 season while the Hornets just took a huge step forward with the addition of Anthony Davis and the addition of Austin Rivers and Darius Miller. Apparently, Gordon feels otherwise.
It would behoove Tom Benson to seek and pay players who truly want to be part of an exciting building project toward success.
Gordon originally planned to visit at least six teams this week to explore his options including meetings with the Suns, Rockets and his hometown Pacers.
It remains to be seen whether New Orleans will explore options including a sign-and-trade deal with Phoenix or another club now that Gordon appears to prefer to play elsewhere.
|< Prev||Next >|