Restricted free agent Eric Gordon has agreed to a four-year, $58 million contract with the Phoenix Suns. He can’t sign the contract until July 11, and the New Orleans Hornets will then have two days to match the offer. If they don’t, he’ll be playing in Phoenix next year.
Gordon was considered one of the prizes on this year’s free agent market. He is only 23 years old and has career averages of 18.2 points, 3.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game in four NBA seasons. He spent the first three years of his career with the Los Angeles Clippers before being shipped to the New Orleans Hornets prior to the 2011-12 season as the centerpiece of the Chris Paul trade.
The Indiana product does come with some risk, as he has had several injury issues and missed all but nine games last season thanks to arthroscopic knee surgery. That said, Gordon is widely considered one of the top young shooting guards in the NBA and if the Suns do, in fact, get him on board it would be a huge pickup.
This probably won’t matter, since the Hornets are expected to match any offer for Gordon. They hope that pairing him with Anthony Davis – the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft – will create the league’s best young inside-outside duo.
In January, Gordon turned down a four-year, $50 million extension from New Orleans and that’s why he is currently on the market.
We should find out rather quickly whether or not the Hornets will match Phoenix’s offer. But I have a hard time believing they will just let their best player walk away.
UPDATE: We have been told (and now others are confirming) that the Hornets do plan on matching the Suns’ offer to Gordon, which means he will remain in New Orleans next season.