Hornets Bad Investment:
The Hornets season starts tomorrow in the NOLA Arena against the always powerful San Antinio Spurs.
Rookies Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers are picking things up quickly and the team is (not surprisingly) playing hard for coach Monty Williams.
Personally, I think the Hornets drafted the right guys when they selected Davis and Rivers and added the best young veteran possible when they acquired Ryan Anderson.
The move I’ve questioned all along — re-signing Eric Gordon.
Gordon came over in the Chris Paul/Los Angeles Clippers trade last season.
A 23-year-old shooting guard, Gordon missed all but nine games last season after having arthroscopic knee surgery.
Despite his limited contribution, the Hornets made the decision to give the restricted free agent a fully guaranteed 4-year, $58 million dollar contract.
I said all along the Hornets should have aggressively explored all sign-and-trade options for Gordon.
I won’t even get into the details surrounding Gordon and his desire to leave New Orleans for Phoenix (or anywhere else)– what’s done is done, new owner Tom Benson made the decision to retain Gordon.
When the Hornets opened training camp, many were surprised to hear Gordon would be limited in practice and would not be playing in games due to knee soreness — yes, the same knee that bothered him last season.
So, my question is: Did the Hornets buy damaged goods?
Every time I see Eric Gordon I can’t help but think of Brandon Roy. This was a point I brought up numerous times when the Hornets talked about how great Gordon could become. Roy was of course the Portland Trailblazers star player who had to retire due to chronic knee issues (Roy is now attempting a comeback with Minnesota).
Gordon has played in fewer and fewer NBA games since being drafted in 2008 and many have questioned if he can truly be a gritty, gutty leader. I’m of the opinion that Gordon is a super talented player, but a guy who’s as soft as cotton.
I think Gordon will miss 30-50 games this year with various nagging injuries and that his bloated, ridiculous contract will eventually become a burden to the team.
I said over the summer the Hornets should have worked with Gordon and his agent (Rob Pelinka) to find the best trade — no one listened. Now, if the Hornets have to eventually trade Gordon they won’t be getting good young players and draft picks back — they’ll be taking back bad, expiring contracts in a salary dump and will have nothing to show for the Chris Paul trade.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope Gordon plays in all 82 games, becomes an all-star and helps the Hornets rebuild into a championship contender — but I won’t believe it until it happens.
The facts are the facts — Gordon is an over-paid, injury-plaqued player who’s never made an all-star team and never lead a team to the playoffs.
When a guy is a max-contract player (like Gordon is) you’ve got to do three things:
1. Be your teams best player
2. Play through minor injuries
3. Put butts in seats
In my opinion, Gordon is/does none of the above.