NBA AM: The Pelicans Will Have Options
Pelicans Will Have Options: It is probably safe to start calling the franchise in New Orleans the Pelicans going forward, but until the whistle is blown on the final game of the 2012-13 season next week they are technically still the Hornets and so is guard Eric Gordon.
There were talks around the NBA trade deadline centered on dealing Gordon in February. A trade involving Gordon presented some challenges mainly because the Hornets matched Gordon’s free agent offer sheet from Phoenix last July, in doing so the Hornets had to have Gordon’s permission to trade him in the first year of the contract and that made finding a quality deal for Gordon a little difficult, too difficult to get anything done before the deadline.
The Hornets will re-start talks on deals as soon as their season ends, not only involving Gordon but possibly other roster veterans like Ryan Anderson and Robin Lopez, not because there is some desire to part ways with either player, but because that’s what you do when you have won 27 games.
Gordon’s situation is a little different – he is not happy in New Orleans and hasn’t kept that a big secret. The franchise matched his contract for two reasons – primarily, you don’t get ahead in the NBA letting star level players walk without compensation and secondarily there was a hope Gordon would come around to what the Hornets are building and buy in, especially with all the uncertainties now out of the way.
The second part hasn’t happened quite like some had expected and when Gordon contract restrictions come off in July, the Hornets will consider offers again, this time on their terms not Gordon’s.
Gordon’s injury history is the biggest road block to a substantial deal, although Gordon has logged some 37 games this season and has played well at times despite the lingering knee and conditioning issues that kept him out of the first part of the season.
The Hornets look poised to land another top five draft pick in June 27’s NBA Draft and will have more than $15.5 million to spend on free agency before they do anything with Gordon or their other high dollar veterans.
Gordon will have three years remaining on his deal when the NBA calendar flips over in July, leaving him three-years and $44.68 million left on his deal. Gordon’s $14.28 million 2013-14 salary won’t be the easiest deal in the world to move, but if history has shown anything a team with a contract and willingness to deal can always finding a trading partner, the question becomes what kind of assets will New Orleans get in return and does that really matter at this point with Gordon?
Turning The Corner?: The Washington Wizards have won 24 of the 44 games with John Wall in the lineup; said another way, the Wizards have won 54.5 percent of their games, which is a good enough percentage to land the sixth seed in the East.
While Wall is clearly the catalyst that makes the engine go, sophomore defensive specialist Chris Singleton talked with HOOPSWORLD about Wall’s influence on his own game and what he needs to work on this summer.
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