May 31, 2012, 7:34 PM EDT
Eric Gordon was the centerpiece of the guys coming back to New Orleans in the Chris Paul trade. Gordon has flown under the NBA radar somewhat, but he is the best young two-guard in the game and is a building block for the Hornets future.
So he has to be excited about New Orleans winning the Anthony Davis lottery. Right? Combine the improved team with Gordon coming off major knee surgery where he played just nine games last year and surely he wants to lock down a long-term deal with the Hornets, right?
Not so fast, he told Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.
But despite the news, Gordon still plans on exploring his options in free agency.
“Wherever I end up will be a good situation or I’m going to make it a good situation,” Gordon said.
Gordon made $3.1 million in the final year of his contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer. He turned down in January a four-year contract that would have paid him close to $50 million, league sources said.
The key word here is “restricted.” The Hornets can match any offer and pretty much will match any offer. Short of some other team offering a max deal he’ll be a Hornet.
Actually, he’ll be the veteran leader of the Hornets. And while they may not leapfrog up to the playoffs in the West, Davis and a healthy Gordon (plus the No. 10 pick overall) will make them a lot better and more interesting last season.
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