New Orleans free agent Eric Gordon will sign an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns he announced on Tuesday, according to Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic.
The deal is reportedly a four-year, $58 million max deal that must be matched by the Hornets should they want to keep the 23-year-old restricted free agent.
In a statement Gordon sent to the paper and ESPN, the Suns impressed the 6-foot-3 guard immensely.
“After visiting the Suns, the impression the organization made on me was incredible,” Gordon said in a prepared statement. “Mr. Sarver, Lon Babby, Lance Blanks, the front office staff and Coach Gentry run a first-class organization, and I strongly feel they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now.”
Now, Suns fans and the Phoenix management have to hang on to their beating hearts until July 11, the first day players can sign; the Hornets will have three full days from then to make a decision on whether to match.
Gordon has averaged 18.2 points, 3.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game during his four-year career.
He joins only Roy Hibbert as a max-level restricted free agent thus far in the free agency period.
From here, it’s both impressive and surprising that Phoenix was able to make such a strong impression on Gordon. Considering the questions surround the competency of the Suns front office, moving in on a player mostly regarded as the second-best free agent in 2012 should be met with controlled optimism.
Yahoo! Sports reports that New Orleans will match the offer for Gordon, but Alex Kennedy of Hoops World believes the Hornets don’t want Gordon back if he wants to leave; the club could look to make a sign-and-trade with Phoenix.
It’s hard to see what Phoenix could give up in return for Gordon, but it opens up the opportunity for the Suns to move their current pieces, making this rebuild even more substantial.