NBA PM: Why An Eric Gordon Trade Is Unlikely
Fans of the New Orleans Hornets were stung a season ago when long-time franchise cornerstone Chris Paul was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. The salve on the wound was the fact that the Hornets got budding young star Eric Gordon back in the deal, and it was expected that he would take the place of Paul in the hearts and minds of the Hornets’ faithful. Unfortunately, injuries prevented Gordon from doing much of anything last season, and even as this season got underway rumors that Gordon didn’t want to be in New Orleans accompanied nearly every report that his return had been delayed once again.
Now, finally, Gordon is healthy, and though he’s played just a handful of games he’s already showing Hornets fans that they have reason to be excited about his game. He scored 24 points and dished out seven assists in his debut last week and hit the game-winning shot in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
“Yeah, it is [good to be back]. There’s nothing like playing no matter what your situation is, almost in life, sometimes,” Gordon tells HOOPSWORLD. “It’s good to be out there, and we played a good Dallas team. Their record doesn’t show, but it was good for us to get a win like that.”
Gordon has struggled with his shot a bit since that first game back despite his heroics in Dallas, and he admits it’s still going to be a process for him after missing so many games.
“Well, yeah, teams adjust to you,” says Gordon. “The first game I was getting into the lane and picking off the teams and now they’re not letting me into the lane, sometimes they trap me and sometimes they switch. That affected me the first game and it shows the difference, but it’s time for me to adapt.”
There was never any truth to the rumors that Gordon was sitting out because he didn’t want to be in New Orleans. The simple truth is that he and the team wanted to err on the side of caution so he wouldn’t suffer another setback right away.
“Yeah, for sure,” says Gordon. “This is like my eleventh game in two years and now I’m coming back into the fold where I wasn’t in full shape, just now starting to feel good and trying to get back to 100 percent. I’m still in the rehab process; with me it’s a long-term thing, trying to get better and better long-term and just now trying to work my way back.”
No one is happier to have Gordon back in the fold than Hornets head coach Monty Williams, who thinks fans will be pleasantly surprised by just how much Gordon brings to the table.
“Eric is one of those players that you don’t get to see much on the East Coast or even here unless he’s on your floor, the Clippers didn’t play much on TV when he was there, says Williams. “But he’s a guy that can score the ball, he can shoot threes, attack the basket, get to the free throw line and he can defend one-on-one about as good as anybody in the league at his position. He’s a really good passer, too. I talked to a few of his coaches in the past and they think his best position is point guard. I’m not so sure about that, but I’ve seen him do that pretty effectively. He adds a lot to our team.”
Despite Gordon’s discussion of wanting to play for the Phoenix Suns over the summer, Williams has no doubt that Gordon is happy to be in New Orleans and anxious to show he is a big part of the future of the franchise.
“I think so, I’ve talked to him on a number of occasions about the things of the past and he knows how I feel,” says Williams. “I understand how he feels and that’s what I have to go off of. As far as it being a roller coaster, it’s the NBA. I don’t know what you want to call it, but it’s not always a fairytale. Eric is a good kid and he wants to do what’s right. I try to put myself in his shoes and think of the things I did at 22-23. I’m just glad you didn’t have social media back then, because you guys would look at me totally differently. I think when you have a guy like Eric, who has that much talent and is a really good guy, try to go forward with that, instead of going on the past. What happened, happened, we can’t go around that, but all the signs show that he is committed to our team and that’s a good thing.”
Gordon doesn’t talk like someone who has his eye on the door. Instead, he sounds like he’s ready to dig in for the long haul and help put the Hornets back on the NBA map. He believes he can be a big piece of the Hornets’ rebuilding puzzle.
“Yeah, I think that’s why they brought me back this summer because I can provide leadership and knock some tough shots down during certain times of the game and they thought that I could help the team,” says Gordon. “Tonight, I had an awful game, but it came to overtime and I knocked down a tough shot and a couple more tough shots in the end.”
The Hornets may have a disappointing record, but they haven’t been that bad this season. They’re losing a lot of their games down the stretch, and having Gordon back in the mix will help them convert some of those losses into wins, as we saw in Dallas on Saturday night. It won’t be long before Gordon starts doing what he was acquired to do – help Hornets fans forget about the departure of Paul as they celebrate the accomplishments of Gordon’s Hornets.
Casspi Demands A Trade
When the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Omri Casspi from the Sacramento Kings, they thought they were getting a long-term solution on the wing as part of the rebuilding project that began when LeBron James left town for Miami. After all, Casspi had proven he could be an efficient offensive force in his two years with the Kings, whether knocking down threes or getting into the lane and mixing things up.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone that way. Casspi had a hard time earning minutes last season, his first with the Cavaliers, and is having by far the worst season of his career this year, averaging 4.9 points and shooting 39 percent in just 13.3 minutes per game, and that’s when he can even get into a game.
The situation has finally come to a head, apparently, as Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Casspi’s camp has demanded a trade.
Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant has been making calls on possible deals for Casspi, but nothing has materialized. The request for a trade was made through Casspi’s representatives with Creative Arts Agency (CAA), sources said.
Cleveland officials privately insist that no such request was made, but multiple league sources with knowledge say that CAA recently made the request. Per league rules, neither the agent nor Casspi can publicly make a trade request without being subject to league-mandated fines.
Stay tuned to HOOPSWORLD as we continue to monitor this situation closely.
Not So Fast, Celtics!
This morning HOOPSWORLD’s Alex Kennedy reported that the Boston Celtics are preparing for a blockbuster trade, citing league sources. Many immediately assumed that the Celtics were on the verge of acquiring Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, which made sence given the issues he’s had fitting in with Sacramento. Since that story broke, however, it has become clear that the Kings are not open to the Celtics’ overtures, as both USA Today’s Sam Amick and the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones have tweeted that the Kings are not the least bit inclined to send Cousins to Boston.
Rudy Gay’s name also came up in trade speculation, but that seems just as unlikely as a Cousins deal with Boston. Both the Kings and the Grizzlies would be looking for marquee talent in any deal, and the Celtics are talking about moving the scraps around Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce. It’s unlikely they’re going to pull an All-Star caliber player with an offer of Jeff Green, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Brandon Bass, for example.
To be considered a blockbuster, however, there usually has to be a big name involved, so if the Celtics aren’t sending one out the assumption is that they must be bringing one in.
One interesting possibility might be Toronto’s Andrea Bargnani, who is clearly not in the team’s plan moving forward. Unlike the Kings and Grizzlies, the Raptors might see a Bargnani move as addition by subtraction, an improvement unto itself, and Toronto might see a package involving Jeff Green as more of a help to the group that has played so well with Bargnani on the bench.
Does Bargnani make the Celtics radically better? Perhaps. Not the way Rudy Gay or DeMarcus Cousins would. Still, if the offer from Boston doesn’t involve any of their core players, Andrea Bargnani might be the most they could hope to land.
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