On Thursday, Eric Gordon fanned the flames of every burning bridge back to the Big Easy. The New Orleans Hornets guard is telling everyone who will listen why he would prefer to play with the Phoenix Suns. At this point, the Hornets have to at least be considering the possibility of not matching Eric Gordon's contract with the Suns.
Eric Gordon said, "Phoenix just showed a lot more interest, overall, and definitely in how they negotiated. I don't know what New Orleans' plans are for me. There are no negotiations right now."
Well that's a silly statement. The Hornets didn't have to roll out the red carpet in their negotiations with Eric Gordon. Why should the Hornets waste their time and energy on a wine and dine knowing they could match any offer? Besides, Eric Gordon has been in New Orleans since December. I think he knows this team and city inside and out.
Eric Gordon also said, "They drafted another shooting guard, a combo guard like me, which tells me they have another plan."
This line of thought is the only one I agree with Gordon on (to a point). I was also surprised when New Orleans drafted Austin Rivers. But a team like the Hornets that's rebuilding has to draft the best player available. And if the Hornets legitimately plan on converting Rivers to point guard, then Eric Gordon's spot is secure.
Finally, Eric Gordon said, "Phoenix signed two other young guys that are very talented. They're already established and they're already going to get better."
Now that may be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. Eric Gordon is referring to Michael Beasley and Goran Dragic who also signed free agent contracts with the Suns. Any two NBA veterans are going to be more "established" than any two rookies. That doesn't mean Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers won't be better in a couple of years.
New Orleans Hornets
You can bet the New Orleans Hornets front office is considering all the ramifications of matching the Suns' offer. I know the prevailing wisdom is that the Hornets will match Gordon's contract because they can't let him walk away for nothing. But if the Hornets let Eric Gordon sign with the Suns, they will save $58 million over the next four years.
There must be other quality free agents out there on which that money can be better spent by the Hornets.