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New Orleans Hornets Would Be Fools to Trade Eric Gordon

dfavale February 15, 2013 Dan Favale No Comments

There have been some pretty absurd rumors floating around as we near the NBA’s trade deadline, but the notion that the New Orleans Hornets are shopping Eric Gordon has to be the worst.

According to ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard, the Hornets have made exploratory calls around the league in order to gauge the combo guard’s trade value:

We all know Eric Gordon wanted to sign with Phoenix last summer and many around the league believe he would still rather not be in New Orleans. That’s prompted several clubs to call the Hornets about Gordon’s availability. Those calls, in turn, led New Orleans to start calling around to gauge Gordon’s trade value.

So would New Orleans trade him?

I’m told a Gordon trade this season is highly unlikely, with one source with knowledge of the situation telling ESPN.com this week that, as things stand, there’s “less than a 10 percent chance” New Orleans would move Gordon before the deadline. Still, the fact that the Hornets made calls around the league implies that they are at least warming up to the idea of moving him at some point

So, the Hornets invested over $50 million in Gordon this summer only to begin shopping him in the middle of the season. Who are they, the Denver Nuggets?

I get how the whole Gordon and Phoenix Suns situation, coupled with his childish attitude became a messy debacle, but that’s not enough to justify a severing of ties now. Let’s also not forget that at 24, Gordon is still a kid, and impulsive decisions are a staple of today’s youth.

Mostly, though, I’m just confused as to why New Orleans would even remotely consider making such a move. A “less than” 10 percent chance of a deal being struck is hardly a threat, but it is an unnecessary chink in the armor. Especially when Gordon means so much to New Orleans’ future.

His knee, and now his hand, is of some concern, but he has made some serious progress since returning. He’s playing nearly five fewer minutes a night, but his per 36 minutes averages of 20 points, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals are right in line with the 21.5, 3.6 and 1.5 he posted respectively last season. That 40.3 percent shooting from the floor is pretty Rudy Gay-like and therefore disconcerting, but it’s still not enough to justify trading him this early in the process.

 

New Orleans has something special in Anthony Davis and it may have something special in Austin Rivers down the road, yet presently, Gordon is its most feared scorer. More so than Davis, more so than Rivers and more so than even Greivis Vasquez. Why give up one of your most valuable pillars? Better yet, why give them up when they’re only 24? Because of a re-occurring knee injury?

Andrew Bynum’s situation with the Philadelphia 76ers may have plenty of teams running scared when it comes to toiling with knee injuries, but the Hornets shouldn’t be one of them. We can’t make any guarantees that Gordon’s knee holds up, but you have to give it the opportunity to at this point.

It’s not like the Hornets have been shopping Gordon all season long. This seems like a spur of the moment thing. Less than one week before the deadline, it’s highly unlikely they iron out a deal even if they were motivated to do so. It would take far longer than that for them to effectively gauge the market and receive an adequate return.

At that point, why shop him at all this season? If anything allow him to finish out the year, hopefully raise his value and then deal him over the summer. Risking any more strain on an already tenuous relationship by engaging in fruitless negotiations now isn’t going to do the team any good.

It’s only going to make what was once a promising union weaker than it already is.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com. Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.


 

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