When healthy, Gordon is one of the league’s best bench scorers as he approaches 34 years old at the end of December. “I think Houston will definitely look to move Gordon,” an NBA executive said. “I think he can add a lot of value to a team trying to make a run. I just think his contract is a little rich.”
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Will his fate be the same as Wall’s? Sources with knowledge of Gordon’s thinking say while Gordon hasn’t approached management to ask for a trade, he’s open to moving to a more favorable situation. In meetings between his representation and Houston this offseason, the Rockets communicated they would love to have Gordon stay. “They always know, and it’s definitely not easy for my position,” Gordon says about Houston understanding how he feels. “But my ultimate goal is to just go out there and play, help, show that I’m healthy and gravitate to these guys to get better.”
But Gordon is a consummate professional. He’s going to put his head down, prepare for the season and do the role that’s asked of him. He was part of the group that took a pre-camp trip down to the Bahamas (Wall was not present, according to sources). The Rockets have gone there in previous seasons as a means to build chemistry and lay the groundwork for a grueling season. The stakes are a bit different now, but the goal remains the same. “It was good,” Gordon says of the trip. “It’s always good to get together and play and be around each other. And now it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty and figure out chemistry. How can this guy fit here? How can we do things? How can we make each other play at a high level? So that’s the thing, those are the next steps to figure out.”
Gordon played in just 27 games last season, dealing with a knee injury early on and, most recently, a groin injury suffered in March. With training camp less than two weeks away, he’s ready for another go. “Physically and mentally, I’m definitely in a good spot,” Gordon says. “Looking forward to training camp with the team and don’t have to really worry about any setbacks or whatnot.”
Of the two veteran guards, MacMahon sees Gordon, who is owed $37.8 million over the next two seasons, as much more likely to be moved by the Rockets at some point during the upcoming season. With Wall, who is due $91.7 million, the logistics are far more complicated. Tim MacMahon: “The last year (of Gordon’s deal), there’s no guaranteed money. I think Gordon is getting traded at some point. But John Wall, every minute that he plays … you’re wasting time.”
And the Rockets have discussed a deal that would send Eric Gordon, plus Houston’s No. 23 pick, to Indiana for the Pacers’ 13th selection. There’s an expectation that Indiana is once again gauging the trade market for Myles Turner.
You’re right in that all of your deals would have ended around the same time. But everyone from that run is gone now. How often do you think about that, and how seriously have you thought about pursuing a championship still — even if it’s somewhere else? Eric Gordon: “I haven’t really thought that far because the season hasn’t ended, and I really like it here, man. I’ve always loved it here from Day 1. I’ve done a lot of winning, I’ve won a lot of awards here. Just done well here, we won a lot of games here. It’s tough to kind of walk away from all that because my goal here was, if things went well here, was to retire here.”
So you’re under contract for a few more seasons here. Has this season, your age and NBA mortality caused you to think about your future? Eric Gordon: You do have to think about your future. No question. Because we went through a lot of change. When I signed my contract in Houston, I thought we were going to be a team that keeps the band together and tries to keep pushing for the (championship). When I got my extension all of our years kind of ended the same — me, James, Russ. Us three, I thought we were all going to align our deals together and almost kinda end two to three years from now. After that, that just completely went overblown, but as I said, things can always change easily when you have a new coach, a new GM and that’s that.
Hoop Central: Report: There is a “great deal of interest” around the league in Eric Gordon, via @wojespn .
It is really tough. Gordon is such a wonderful fit for what the Rockets want to do on both ends of the floor but health and age (31) are both working against him. Gordon’s story also changes because of the extension he and the Rockets agreed to before this season- instead of his contract expiring this summer, Houston now owes him $16.9 million in 2020-21, $18.2 million in 2021-22 and $19.6 million in 2022-23 before a non-guaranteed final season.
If other general managers trusted that Gordon would be even mostly healthy moving forward, someone would likely jump on that as a reasonable gamble considering his talent. Of course, in that case, the Rockets would not be looking to move him. Instead, moving him for someone who can actually help the team now will be extremely difficult, especially if management does not want to take on a worse contract or attach assets. I would just keep Gordon around and see if a bounce-back year returns him to the fold unless a stronger-than-expected offer happens this offseason.
As of Thursday, league sources told The Athletic the Rockets have been shopping Capela and Eric Gordon for a first-round pick that could then be used to entice Philadelphia to do a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler.
Mark Berman: Eric Gordon on ESPN reporting the #Rockets are trying to trade him to get a first-round pick: “I’ve been thru all this before. It’s all business. I don’t really worry about it at all. (Says he’s not disappointed or bothered by the report) “I’m not at all..”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Reporting w/ @ZachLowe: Houston’s offering Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker individually to teams w/ space to absorb salary. Rockets trying for best available first-rounder for any of those three, hoping to redirect pick to Philly in pursuit of Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
Butler would be eligible to sign a four-year, $140 million contract on the way to the Rockets, but Houston would likely need to include center Clint Capela and guard Eric Gordon to make the financial deal work, sources said.
Trading Paul would have positioned the Rockets to be a Clint Capela or Eric Gordon trade away from freeing up the cap space to sign Jimmy Butler, who league sources say they plan to pursue.
The Heat is expected to check in with Houston on available players (Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon) but not sure there’s an ideal match there. Memphis’ Mike Conley remains among several possibilities.
Gordon is entering the final year of his four-year, $54 million deal, another bargain on the market given his skill set. It’s no surprise these were among the pieces frequently talked about in possible trade scenario. One person close to Gordon still believes Houston could move him this summer or before the trade deadline if a long-term extension agreement can’t be reached.
The Rockets are indeed shopping everyone on the roster not named Harden. The complexities involved in moving Chris Paul, who at age 34 has three years and nearly $125 million left on his contract, have Houston officials actively exploring the trade market for Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.
As one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, they are operating under the belief that at least one of those three mainstays will not be a Rocket next season.
Steve Kyler: Eric Gordon.
After Butler plays 39 minutes in a loss to the Clippers that dropped the Wolves to 0-3 on the trip, the Wolves have conversations with the Heat about a possible trade. But the Heat inform the Wolves that Richardson is no longer on the table after his stellar start to the season, and the Wolves move on. Minnesota begins to engage seriously with Philadelphia, New Orleans and Houston. New Orleans’ package is headlined by Nikola Mirotic and an unprotected first-round draft pick and the Rockets’ proposal has Eric Gordon, Nene and two first-round picks, sources said. The 76ers come with their proposal around Robert Covington and Dario Saric, leaving the Timberwolves to deliberate.
Some things are in his control, and his understanding of how the league works is part of the reason he declined to sign a long-term extension in Houston this offseason. That isn’t to say he wants out; he has stated on numerous occasions that he’d love to finish his career as a Rocket.
Overlooked in all of this is that players have lives outside of the 48 minutes they spend on the court. A transaction that seems simple on the surface actually involves several layers of complexity. And in today’s social media-crazed society, players can only block out so much. “All I can do is go out there and play,” Gordon said. “The only tough thing is some of your friends always come to you with, ‘Do you think you’re gonna be traded?’ That’s the only annoying thing. At the end of the day I’m just a basketball player and I have to control what I can control.”
Houston has offered four future first-round picks to Minnesota, but that package doesn’t include guard Eric Gordon, who’d be mandatory for Minnesota in any proposed deal, league sources said. Thibodeau wants a maximum return on players able to help Minnesota get back to the playoffs.
Stefano Fusaro: Jimmy Butler update: According to a league source, The Wolves contacted the Rockets again Tuesday morning, after their failed deal with Miami this past weekend. Minnesota was still adamant on receiving Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, but Houston will not put Tucker on the table.
Sources say Dell Demps has shopped Eric Gordon and Omer Asik, but has not attracted much interest. Gordon has an expiring contract, but he has had an injury-riddled career with the Pelicans that includes missing the last 12 games with a fractured ring finger.
New Orleans has gotten inquiries on Ryan Anderson, though thus far has indicated little appetite for trading him. The Pelicans have, on the other hand, exhibited a willingness to consider deals for Eric Gordon and/or Tyreke Evans.
Before the injury, sources say the Pelicans were exploring trade offers for Gordon. There is still a chance the Pelicans could look to trade Gordon before the Feb. 18 deadline if they can find a willing team. Gordon was the only Pelicans’ player to start 40 of the first 41 games before getting injured.
Sam Amick: A lot of teams would love to get their hands on soon-to-be free agent forward Ryan Anderson. But I’ve been told that if New Orleans had its way they were much more willing to give up Eric Gordon in a deal depending on what was coming back in return.
With the Pelicans’ season not going as planned, the franchise has begun exploring the possibility of change. Shooting guard Eric Gordon and forward-center Ryan Anderson, both in the last years of their contracts, and Tyreke Evans have been discussed in potential trade scenarios, but nothing is imminent, league sources told Yahoo Sports. The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 18.
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October 27, 2021 | 2:40 am EDT Update
When asked specifically if this is one of those games where Simmons’ absence is felt, Rivers quickly dismissed that thought. “I don’t worry about that,” he quickly said. “Ben’s not here, so yeah. If we would’ve won the game, so, no. I don’t do that.”