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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Gordon

Is Eric Gordon destined to be the Pacers’ final piece of the puzzle?

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Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Once upon a time the Detroit Pistons built a great, defense first core around Chauncey Billups, Rip Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace that needed one more piece to contend for a title. After trading for Rasheed Wallace the rest is history.

The Pacers look like the closest mid-2000s Pistons equivalent since them. The foursome George Hill, Paul George, David West and Roy Hibbert is devastatingly effective as they crush teams defensively and pick apart with skill and intelligence offensively. None are superstars, but arguably 4 players at an all-star level makes up for it.

But conventional wisdom says, they have the need for (a) Sheed. And the gaping hole is the 2 guard spot where the mediocre Lance Stephenson resides.

If they fall in the playoffs this year, who can be their Sheed acqusition? The available player that jumps out to me is Eric Gordon.

Gordon’s blue chip talent is obvious, but his unhappiness in New Orleans has made his max contract there a disaster. With paltry efficiency this year and unreliable health, the Hornets should not believe in him as a long term piece.

However in Indiana he’s not only going to an elite team, but to his home state and where he played college ball. If there’s any team made to make Gordon happy and motivated again, it’s the Pacers. Whether his production is related to health is another story and on a max contract he’d be a huge risk to take. Another reason Indiana being Gordon’s home state matters, is the Pacers are among the league’s dregs in attendance despite such a great team. Gordon helps the attendance both by being from Indiana and by being a star scorer. Points per game sells players.

While his health, production and contract presents a risk, the upside is no less than an NBA title. Gordon is precisely what the Pacers need in a 2 guard, providing a top scorer beside George who excels at driving to the rim and getting to the line, while being able to hit the outside shot. The lineup of Hill, Gordon, George, West and Hibbert if healthy, is a flawless fit of elite defense, decision making, shooting and post offense. The Pacers somehow getting another blue chip starter on Hill, George, West and Hibbert’s level is just what they need to challenge the Heat in the East and meet their 2004 Pistons destiny.

What could a Gordon acquisition look like? Danny Granger would obviously head out. In New Orleans he’d be an expiring contract who if healthy could help them make a playoff run next year and prove himself worth of a new contract. If Granger is only there for a year, they got out from Gordon’s contract and are free cap-wise to rebuild around Anthony Davis. The Pacers may have to throw in their late 1st round draft pick and/or last year’s 1st Miles Plumlee to sweeten the deal, but those are small prices to pay if they believe in what Gordon can do for their team. The Hornets asking for the talented Stephenson may be harder to swallow for the Pacers, but he’s not an untouchable talent. A 3 team trade with Danny Granger headed to a team more ready to win than New Orleans and the Hornets getting assets back, is also plausible. The Hornets agreeing to a Gordon to Indiana trade would be a hurdle, but a very plausible one.

Long term, Gordon’s contract puts the Pacers in bind with Paul George and David West both likely inking long term deals this year. But if they can build an immediate contending team, those financial hurdles can be a bridge crossed later.

Eric Gordon would present a big risk for the Pacers, but “going for it” with him may be a offer they can’t refuse.

Written by jr.

April 5, 2013 at 2:44 pm

The Clippers trade for Chris Paul: The Other Shoe and Unnecessary Risk

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The Chris Paul trade saga is over – with Paul being traded for Eric Gordon, Minnesota’s 2012 1st unprotected, Al-Farouq Aminu and Chris Kaman. In other words, David Stern got everything he wanted from the Clippers.

Including Eric Gordon in this trade was a failure by the Clippers. Not because Paul isn’t worth assets like that. But because the Clippers were largely bidding against themselves. Where did the Hornets have to turn to as leverage? Unlike the Magic, they almost surely couldn’t make Paul play this season – the cord between the player and the franchise had already been all but severed. Paul didn’t appear interested in resigning in either Boston or Golden State. Only the Lakers/Houston deal and their Kevin Martin and Luis Scola package was sitting out there

And it was incredibly obvious that taking the Minnesota draft pick over those players was the direction Stern wanted the Hornets to go. Teams that trade a star in this fashion commonly want to start over and draft young future stars on rookie contracts – which the Hornets are now in a great position to do.

Here’s the problem with this trade now: If Gordon was kept, not a lot would be put on the table by the Clippers. Their future was in fine shape as long as a superstar Griffin and the best under 25 SG and possible superstar Gordon remained on the team, and Deandre Jordan at center nice to have too. The Minnesota pick was a luxury, but not a necessity long term. Trading it for Paul was a relatively low risk, high reward move – the right move.

But with this move the Clippers are legitimately risking that sure bet for long term prosperity – and it certainly is a risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by jr.

December 15, 2011 at 12:21 pm

What if Dwight goes to the Clippers in 2012?

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With the summer of Lebron and Wade’s free agencies over, on the horizon we can already see a similarly crazy summer of free agency: 2012, when Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Dwight Howard hit the market. It’s only a year and a half away and in NBA terms perhaps much less if there’s a lockout next season. Rumors of Howard wanting out have already kickstarted after he was photographed wearing a Lakers hat earlier this month and Ric Bucher tweeted about his interest in LA.

But are the Lakers a wise choice? Kobe will be an old 34, Gasol 32, Odom 33. Furthermore with Kobe and Gasol’s maximum contracts, the Lakers having capspace for a major FA won’t happen. I’m predicting after Kobe’s fall, the Lakers will hit a down rebuilding period for the first time in well, ever.

Here’s what I really want to see: Dwight going to the other LA team. Yes, the Clippers. Can you imagine a Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard frontcourt with Eric Gordon scoring from the perimeter? Scary. Titles are won by owning the paint and no team in the league would come close to the interior defense, offense, and rebounding power a Griffin and Howard frontcourt would have. A perimeter all-star scorer in Gordon completes the puzzle. Furthermore all 3 players are great team players without egos who don’ t need to dominate the ball. Using the Spurs “3 all-stars + role players” model, it’d be easy to fill the PG and SF spots and bench with defenders and shooters and walk to contention. I truly believe with Gordon, Griffin, and Howard, the Clippers 2010s decade could be every bit as succesful as the 2000s was for the Spurs. And what a great story it’d be for the Clips to finally find success. The reaction of Howard leaving the Magic wouldn’t be negative like it was for Lebron, because the Clippers are an underdog like the Cavaliers. Furthermore I think most of us believe if Howard wants to be the best player on a title team, he’ll likely need other all-star scorers to help him like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce did for Kevin Garnett in 2008. Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin are perfect for him.

The only cause for concern I could see is Donald Sterling not being an ideal owner with a history of cheapness and bad decisions. But with a Gordon, Griffin, Howard team, it’s hard to imagine how he could screw that up.

Of course it’d probably be best for the NBA if Howard, Paul and Deron stay with their present teams. But the free agents moving again is unavoidable, I’d like to see the Clippers finally hit a home run in 2012.