Hornets keep playmaker Eric Gordon
New Orleans, LA, United States (4E Sports) – The New Orleans Hornets have kept point guard Eric Gordon in their fold after matching the Phoenix Suns’ four-year, $58 million offer sheet to the restricted free agent playmaker.
New Orleans made the move despite several calls from Gordon to release him to the Suns but the playmaker finally accepted his fate that he will play for the Hornets next season.
“There is always a business element to the NBA when dealing with contracts, but I never lost my appreciation for the New Orleans fans,” Gordon said in a statement released by the team. “I look forward to giving my very best on the court this season to make our team successful.”
“Eric is a phenomenal player that we are thrilled to have in our organization,” Hornets general manager Dell Demps said of Gordon, whom they acquired in a multi-player trade that sent All-Star point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The 6-3 Gordon was limited by a bruised right knee that needed minor surgery to just nine games last season, averaging a team-high 20.6 points.
In his third season, injuries hounded Gordon and limited him to 56 games with the Clippers, but he averaged 22.3 points. In his four years, Gordon averaged 18.2 points and 3.3 assists.
At first, Gordon expressed his intention to play for the Suns because they made more of an effort to sign him than the Hornets.
In addition, Gordon expressed displeasure when the Hornets drafted Duke shooting guard Austin Rivers, saying the team was moving in a different direction. He also bemoaned the Hornets’ failure to address the need for more frontcourt players.
The Hornets responded by acquiring 6-foot-10 forward Ryan Anderson and trading former starting point guard Jarrett Jack in a deal that cleared about $5 million under the salary cap to help New Orleans seek another big man in free agency.
The Hornets also have started training Rivers to play point guard, starting in the Las Vegas summer league that opened this weekend, so as not to create conflict with Gordon’s shooting guard spot.