Phoenix Suns reportedly mulling max offer to Eric Gordon

Posted by on July 2nd, 11:52 pm

The Phoenix Suns met with Eric Gordon tonight in Phoenix over dinner and are considering extending a max offer to the restricted free agent guard, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.

The New Orleans Hornets are expected to match such a four-year, $58 million deal, but you just never know in these situations. After Deron Williams, who is only considering Brooklyn and Dallas, Gordon is widely regarded as the best free agent on the market.

Gordon would provide the go-to scoring punch the Suns have lacked for two years, and such a signing presumably would put Phoenix right back in the middle of the Nash talks. Signing a big fish like him would certainly qualify as the “improvement” Nash sought from the team, as a Nash-Gordon backcourt would make Phoenix lethal offensively once again.

Gordon would also be that “future star” the Suns have lacked since Amare departed, as he would give the team a more promising post-Nash future whether that is in two or three years or two or three days.

The downside would entail making the necessary moves of renouncing the rights to unrestricted free agents and having much of their cap space tied up in one player when his team is likely to match. Still, even then the Suns would be showing their fans they are serious about spending money, which could be important if they do not land their top targets and decide to save their powder for next offseason.

In all, I love the Suns’ aggressiveness in pursuing Gordon and I hope they do offer that max. If he accepts, the future suddenly won’t look so dreary.

In other news, Marc Stein reported that the Rockets are “pessimistic” about their chances of re-signing Goran Dragic, with one source saying his return is “not going to happen.”

The Dragon is seeking a $10 million deal and a starting job and will next visit the Suns on Tuesday in hopes of finding that.

Despite drafting Kendall Marshall, they could still offer him that starting job because Marshall will not necessarily be ready to start from day one. Even when he is the Suns could start Dragic at the two and have him attack from that position. The Suns would be vulnerable against taller backcourt but both Dragic and Marshall possess great size for point guards.

I would not necessarily offer Dragic $10 million a year, but if the Rockets are out, his market sure seems to be drying up. Portland has not shown as much interest as originally expected after drafting Damian Lillard, and other interested teams like the Lakers may not be able to offer as much as Phoenix.

It’s doubtful the Suns would land both Dragic and Gordon, but obtaining one would be quite a boon for the eventual rebuilding process.

Michael Schwartz founded ValleyoftheSuns in October 2008 and is the owner/editor emeritus of the site. He is currently working toward his MBA in sports business at San Diego State University.

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Tags: Free Agency · Goran Dragic · Phoenix Suns · Phoenix Suns News

41 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

    We all know I’m not sold on Gordon being this “superstar stud” and I just whined at Schwartz some more on twitter about it.

    He isn’t a 15-million-per-year talent in my eyes so, I’d gladly give Dragon 10 million per instead and let him run the Joe Johnson package beside Marshall all day.

    Plus, If you offer that to Gordon and the Hornets don’t match, he’s restricted so the Suns will lose more than just cap room. Dragon is unrestricted so the deal ends at that.

    Personally, I’d try to go Dragon (at the 1.5 position like Joe Johnson) and Mayo (at the 3) and call it a day for this year in terms of handing out bigger contracts.

  • 2 D.P. // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:13 am

    I too love that the suns are being so agressive trying to acquire young talent. If we can get Gordon it works out in many ways for us. For one it would possibly make nash want to come back and serve as a mentor to marshall for two years until he’s ready, and two if Nash doesn’t come back it would be a great start to our rebuilding. Gordon would be a nice weapon for marshall to dish the rock to.
    And 1, it would make Phoenix far more attractive for feature free agents. Do I hear dwight Howard anyone?!?

  • 3 Tony // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Michael,

    so now you’re giving the Suns FO credit for debating about offering an undeserving player a max contract, in addition to the fact that the Hornets have stated they will match it, and even if they didn’t, they would likely do a s&t with one of the other teams willing to offer him the max and receive some value in return! Wow, that is really lame, even for a Sarver-surrogate. Don’t you think it’s likely that the FO is only offering it as some pr stunt to con Suns fans into believing they are concerned about winning and that they know they have no legitimate chance of actually signing Gordon?

  • 4 bk // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I think we can get Mayo or Breasley at cheaper price tags than Eric.

  • 5 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:36 am

    The thing with Gordon is that most of the teams with cap space don’t need a 2 like him. Phoenix is on a short list there.

    I think Suns fans would be more upset if we were taking an approach of not going after anybody. They’re after a lot of targets so I do credit them for that.

    Beasley’s meet is Wednesday in the states. Is Mayo still out of the country? He doesn’t seem to bothered by this FA period.

    Dragon’s interest appears to be dipping in regards to other teams so perhaps the Suns do have a true shot at him especially if it ends up being cheaper for HOU to just keep Lowry.

  • 6 Enrique Gomez // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:20 am

    I think Eric Gordon is perfect. We need a superstar & he’s a scorer and with Steve Nash leaving. We need to get young & add both Eric Gordon & Michael Beasley.

  • 7 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:54 am

    I don’t see Dragic as a $10m a year guy just yet. He’s only had one partially good year as a starter, right? His success could be largely due to circumstances, such as the players the coach put on the floor with him. I’d feel better about taking him if it was a few million per year less, like $6-8m.

    If Nash is definitely going to Toronto (which, BTW, is the 5th largest city in North America, and reportedly about double the market of Phoenix), should the Suns consider a sign-and-trade to get the expiring contract of Calderon?

    It’s commonly assumed that the Raps will either trade him away (tho he’s not coveted by anyone) or amnesty him (most likely). However, he does make 9 assists per game, scores 10 ppg, and has a PER of 17. So he’s an above average player who does get his team involved. His contract is valued at $10m.

    It is also believed that if he is amnestied, he will go onto waivers and get claimed by the Lakers for the veteran minimum. So do we take him or help the Lakers? ;)

    For that matter, we could also see if the Raps want Warrick or Childress. I would definitely trade them Childress for inexpensive SF James Johnson.

  • 8 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Keep in mind, regarding Calderon, that the current plan is probably to sign Aaron Brooks to be lead PG for the Suns this year. He’ll probably get a multi-year deal, so the Suns will be on the hook.

    I would prefer Lin, first of all, on a 4 year contract. But if that trade with NYC isn’t going through, then Calderon and his one-year expiring contract sounds nice. It would preserve future cap space.

    Aaron Brooks averages only 4 assists per game, and his career scoring average is the same as that of Calderon. That low assist game looked a lot better in Houston, where more players create their own offense, than it does in Phoenix. With the Suns being so untalented on getting their own shots, they need a PG who sets up and dishes.

  • 9 RC3973 // Jul 3, 2012 at 3:16 am

    Phoenix Suns team if nash comes back
    Nash/Marshall
    Gordon/Mayo/Redd
    Dudley/Hill
    Morris/Beasley/Frye
    Gortat/Frye/Lopez

    Phoenix Suns team if Nash Dosen’t
    Dragic/Marshall
    Gordon/Mayo (or young)/Redd
    Dudley/Beasley
    Morris/Batum
    Gortat/Frye/Lopez

  • 10 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Also, if the Raps don’t want Warrick or Childress, then trade Nash for Calderon and J. Johnson to avoid taking on Beasley.

    JJ’s stats are comparable to those of Beasley, and he has a higher PER. And he’s cheaper.

    If the Suns do that deal, they still have room for Mayo AND Gordon, I believe.

  • 11 KeZ // Jul 3, 2012 at 4:50 am

    Why spend almost all of our free agent money on one player(Gordon), when we can spend it on 3 starters(Nick Young, Michael Beasley, Kris Humphries or a Carl Landry type of player)

    I could live with a starting 5 like this:

    Kendall Marshall
    Nick Young
    Michael Beasley
    Kris Humphries, Carl Landry
    Marcin Gortat

  • 12 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 3, 2012 at 5:09 am

    You guys have to understand that in regards to all of these names you’re throwing out there, there needs to be a MUTUAL interest between the Suns and that player.

    If we haven’t heard about a particular player by now then they weren’t a “Plan A” free agent which means the Suns aren’t that interested or those players haven’t reached out in anyway to the suns via agents.

    There is no point in trading for Calderon. The Raptors don’t need any financial help to land Nash. They’ve got the most money so we don’t need to get involved and I don’t like that guy enough to even carry his expiring contract around.

  • 13 scalamuth // Jul 3, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Alex Kennedy says Houston is only offering Goran $8mill /yr when he wants $10mill/yr. I would compromise and give him 9. If Houston matches that offer, I would be willing to give him 10, but no higher.

  • 14 Rich Anthony, (KJL) // Jul 3, 2012 at 5:59 am

    To be honest, if I were dragon, I would be very careful about signing with Houston.

    they seem willing to trade everybody on the roster, all of ther pet dogs, and a couple of birds to get what they want. If Dragon signs a cap-friendly deal to stay there, they might just attach him to a trade.

  • 15 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 6:42 am

    I could see Dragic going to the Pacers. Possibly at full price.

    @scalamuth -

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to five Dragic more than $8. That would be my hard ceiling.

    With the Suns as they are (not competing), I’d rather pick up a cheap young PG with promise, like Scott Machado, than go with an expensive journeyman.

    Dragic is not yet the master. ;)

    @Rich -

    The story is that the Raps want to add free agents in addition to Nash, but they need to get the Nash situation settled first. (Sound familiar?) So if they get Nash, Calderon either goes out in trade or gets amnestied.

    This is the scoop peddled by Marc Stein, Bill Ingram, and others.

    Marc Stein even implies that there is a taker in waiting for Calderon, should Nash sign with Toronto.

  • 16 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 6:50 am

    BTW, some dork out there is reporting that the Suns’ offer to Nash is $6m a year for 2 years.

    It’s based on a tweet someone made that they heard a source say “2 years, $12 million.” Which should be taken as $12m a year for two years, or two more years at his current pay.

  • 17 steve // Jul 3, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Gordon might not have proven his full worth yet, but it’s easily debatable that he’s the best 2 in the league under 25 years old. 2′s are hard to come by, which is why you have to pay a premium if you get a good one. $14-15M is not a crippling contract. It’s a risk, but a calculated one. If the suns offer anything, they have to offer the max. I’m not saying I want that, I just think that’s what Ian going to have to happen if they’re going to bother putting pen to paper on this one.

  • 18 scalamuth // Jul 3, 2012 at 7:47 am

    @Scott

    Coro said that Toronto’s offer “more than doubles” our potential offer annually.

    If their offer is 36/3, that’s 12 million a year. If that’s “double” our annual offer, than 6 million a year would be correct.

    That’s an absolute insult of an offer. No offer at all(a clean, honest break) would be less disrespectful than 6 million a year.

  • 19 steve // Jul 3, 2012 at 8:13 am

    Where did Coro say that? The only thing I can find from Coro is that no offer was made by the Suns.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/gameon/post/2012/07/phoenix-still-hasnt-offered-steve-nash-a-contract/1

    Do you have a link that counters that? That article was up to date as of last night. Did something break this morning?

  • 20 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 8:45 am

    BTW, Billups is talking to Portland. If he signs, a prediction I made months ago comes true. :)

    Alex Kennedy reports that the Suns have expressed interest in SG/SF Terrence Williams – 7 ppg, 2 apg, 3 rpg, PER 13. (I’d rather have James Johnson.)

  • 21 thatdude // Jul 3, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Unbeliavable .. You guys really believe NO Hornets owner will not match any offer for Gordon???? You guys are pathetic .. Its a fu**in PR move so idiots such as yourselves keep thinking Sarver is doing anything in his power …. What a joke .. Sarver will sign Jhonny Flynn and u guys will still be so happy .. F****n pathetic

  • 22 Jason A. // Jul 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Gordon coming in this afternoon, Dragic at the facility right now.

    @thatdude you’re an ass. Gordon is the one guy worth a max deal, worth risking a NO match. It would be unacceptable if we lost Mayo because we were courting Gordon, but this is exactly how the organization is supposed to step up. I will be happy if we get Gordon/Beasley or Dragic/Felton, Mayo, and Beasley.

  • 23 steve // Jul 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I’m just curious as to why, even if the Gordon talks were a “PR move,” that would be a bad thing? It keeps the franchise relevant, in the news, in conversations, it gets the name of the Phoenix Suns out there for other fans to see, and for other players to see and say, “If I play well enough, the Suns aren’t going to be afraid to entertain the idea of giving me a max deal.”

    There is no downside that I can possibly see to talking to Eric Gordon… unless, like Rich, you don’t believe Eric Gordon is worth it. In that case, there’d be a big downside if the Suns offered max and NOH didn’t match.

    Some people truly puzzle me with their negativity. I really don’t get it. It’s just sports, and not everyone who actually has any power to make things happen for the Suns in this FA period has the worst possible intentions for the franchise. Actually, I’m pretty certain that those in power would like the franchise to succeed. That is, if they care about their own welfare.

  • 24 Edward // Jul 3, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Eric Gondon is going to play for the suns

  • 25 Jason A. // Jul 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

    @steve Bravo.

  • 26 Wilson // Jul 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    @ Scott: Why would the Raptors give up JJ and an expiring contract for a good (albeit overpaid player) for a player currently a free agent? It’s not like Nash will demand the max the Suns can offer him to play for the Raptors – or that the extra money will sway him to pick the Raptors over another team.

    @ Steve: What advantage is there in tying up eight figures in cap space to a player the Hornets are virtually guaranteed to retain?

    @ KeZ: lol. Didn’t this JUST happen when the Suns replaced Amare? The only one of those with any potential at all to be a very good player is Beasley.

  • 27 steve // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    That’s a fair question. I’ll answer it with another question: What else are they going to do with that money?

    They’re pursuing the best free agent available. Regardless of whether or not you THINK it’s likely to you can get him, it’s worth the due diligence. 25 teams had no shot whatsoever at Peyton Manning, but you know they all called and tried to set up meetings and workouts anyway.

    Basically, you can’t win if you don’t play the game.

  • 28 Tony // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    From Paul Calvisi via twitter, “trusted source informs me that Phx Suns offer to Steve Nash currently stands at = 2 years, $12 million.” Now if this is truly the actual offer, that is really an insult to Nash and for all he’s done for the franchise. Even though I disagree with it, I can understand the merits of not offering him a 3rd year. But, in doing so, to then only offer him $6 million per year, is incredibly bush league and disrespectful. They might as well not offered him a deal at all. I’m sure the Sarver contingent will now flock to his defense for the indefensible, but VOTS seems to be the last refuge of his supporters.

    “I’m just curious as to why, even if the Gordon talks were a ‘PR move,’ that would be a bad thing?”
    Hmm……let me see if I can come up with a reason……..Well, maybe it has just a little tiny bit something to do with creating a perception of Suns fans that the FO is willing to spend and thereby defuse some degree of viteriol that would be directed towards the FO from true Suns fans as a consequence of lowballing Nash and not aggressively trying to improve the team. Of course for the simple-minded, this tactic will probably be effective because frankly they follow like sheep, but for those with even a scintilla of intelligence, this PR stunt by the FO is really transparent.

  • 29 Jason A. // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    @Tony I find your ideas about the public’s perception of courting Gordon pretty insulting. So I’m simple-minded because I applaud the Suns for going after the 2nd best FA on the market? That doesn’t make sense. I think we’re all aware of the fact there’s a high probability NOLA will match it, but what if they don’t? It IS good business sense to let the fans know you’re doing what you can to acquire assets and spend money. Do you understand how business works?

    As long as we can still get Mayo after NOLA matches I’m cool with signing Gordon to an offer sheet. I think we have enough cap space that we can afford the high hold with Gordon. Besides, with the money being doled out there’s not going to be enough to go around and guys are going to get pinched. That should work to our advantage (as long as we get Gordon, Mayo, Young, or someone).

  • 30 KeZ // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @Wilson -

    Touche.

    I´m with you on Michael Beasley(I really hope we sign him), but have you seen Nick Young play? That kid is talented. I´ll take Young over Mayo anyday.

  • 31 Tony // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    @Jason,

    Your assumption is predicated on the Suns FO courting Gordon because they truly believe and desire to sign him.
    I don’t believe they believe they have any legitimate chance in signing him and are only making so-called “effort” to recruit him for the sake of appeasing fans.

    Now, you must not understand how the NBA CBA currently is structured andhow it affects Gordon. Let’s assume for the moment that the Hornets are only publicly stating they will match any offer for Gordon but privately and in reality they don’t want to offer him a max-contract, and that the Suns decide to offer Gordon a max-contract, and finally, the Hornets decide not to match it. Oh, and since there are about five other teams apparently interested in offering Gordon a max-deal, let’s also assume three of those teams do as well. At that point, because Gordon was on the Hornets roster last season, the Hornets would most likely commit to a S&T for him so that at the very least, they could land some value in return for him. Now, considering that the Suns are probably the least talented team in the NBA at this point, what can the Suns offer in return for Gordon? At this point, there only trade asset is Gortat. Don’t you think some of those other teams are in better positions to give up assets than the Suns?

    The point I’m making is that the odds of actually acquiring Gordon are so remote that this is nothing but a PR move to appease fans. I guess it is working for a few such as yourself and a few others, but I don’t believe this will work with the overwhelming majority of Suns fans. If Sarver didn’t have such a poor reputation from so many disasterous moves, this PR stunt would probably succeed, but his reputation is in the toilet, I highly doubt it will be sufficient to appease fans.

  • 32 Kyle Fleeger // Jul 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    The Suns should absolutely sign Goran Dragic to a 10 million dollar deal, and offer Gordon the max. Nash is gone, sad to say, and Goran brings marketing and stylistic benefits to the Suns. The fans already love him, who couldn’t after he helped sweep the Spurs in such amazing fashion? They can market him, he knows the offense, and is a way better and more diverse player than Jeremy Lin.

    Go-Ran!

    Because I want this so bad, I know it’s not going to happen. Get in there Michael and talk to him! Tell him we miss him.

    Puff the Magic Dragic!

  • 33 thatdude // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    You guys surprised Sarver low balled Nash? Hmmm Grant Hill comes to mind .. Didnt he get looooow balled few yrs ago? Babby is a goon like the rest of Sarvers goons .. “OMG we are getting Gordon and Beasley and Mayo blahblahblah “u guys are pathetic. Sarver is mind F’ing you guys hardcore .. New Orleans owner said MATCHING ANY DEAL FOR GORDON get that through ur heads …. You guys probably believe the BS that went down wit Joe Johnson too .. Sarver “I told Joe if he wants to stay i’ll sign the offer sheet and Joe said he didnt want me to” LMAO

  • 34 Michael Schwartz // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    @Tony If Gordon signs and NOH doesn’t match, he is a Sun. It doesn’t matter that another team could offer more in a S&T, once he signs the offer sheet he will either be a Sun or a Hornet. Of course, the Hornets could try to convince him before July 11 to do it in a S & T with a team they could get an asset from or threaten the Suns they will match unless they offer up Gortat, but ultimately he or the Suns could call that bluff and just sign him, at which point the ball would be in the Hornets’ court.

    If the Suns were making moves just for the purposes of PR, they would be spending a lot more time with Nash.

  • 35 thatdude // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Give Dragic 4 yrs $30 mil at least he will play and not “Chill” on the bench

  • 36 thatdude // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    @Kyle
    Your titi Lena says hi lol. I still own the “puff the magic dragic” shirt btw!! ….

    Amnesty JChill and get Goran back .. He can pass, defend AND shoot (unlike the rookie).

  • 37 Scott // Jul 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    @Wilson -

    There’s nothing wrong with what you’re thinking, it’s just that it’s commonly believed the Raps are trying to trade or amnesty Calderon if they get Nash, so the Suns could facilitate that if they wished, and could ask for JJ (a minor contract) as well.

    Nothing wrong with asking. Remember how no one thought Pau Gasol was getting traded out of Memphis, esp not for Kwame Brown? Remember how surprising it was that Memphis nearly traded Mayo to the Pacers for a scrub contract?

    You never know what teams are willing to do, so you ask for what you want.

  • 38 Jason A. // Jul 3, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    @Tony, don’t be so arrogant, you don’t know as much as you think. Thanks for writing my post for me Michael.

  • 39 Michael Schwartz // Jul 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Check out this pic and the entire slideshow: http://www.nba.com/suns/gallery/free-agency-2012?page=14&mi%7Eid%7Ecookie=1320364841297%7E613%7E-2116080007%7E%7E1. Doesn’t look like that visit has much to do with saving face with fans….

  • 40 Wilson // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

    @ Scott: Sure, but I don’t think the Raptors are trying to trade Calderon FOR Nash. Sure, go ahead and ask if you’re the Suns… but don’t be surprised at all if they hang up on you to give Nash another courting call instead.

    @ steve: You cannot win if you do not play, indeed. But there is a major cost in trying to get Gordon… aka, trying up all that cap space. I will concede that there is not much else I think should really do with the money though.

    I like Batum, but he’s also restricted. I do like Ilyasova a lot too and he seems to have flown under the radar (or at least among fans from what I’ve read on forums, etc), but I’m not sure how much of that has to do with his contract year. He was an above average player even before this season, despite not having the best FG% at the rim (hovers ~60%). If his touch from three is real, he would be an upgrade over Channing Frye, for sure – and he’s only 24.

  • 41 Wilson // Jul 4, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Oh, and I forgot about Dragic… although $10m seems a little steep for a player who performed fantastic – but for half a season

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