The Eric Gordon signing and where the Phoenix Suns go from here

Eric Gordon has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns. Now what happens next? (Photo by Jeramie McPeek/

Eric Gordon has agreed to sign an offer sheet with the Phoenix Suns. Now what happens next? (Photo by Jeramie McPeek/

Days before the draft, Suns general manager Lance Blanks said the organization routinely considers “if-then scenarios,” and thus with news of the Suns completing an “if” by agreeing to ink Eric Gordon to a four-year, $58 million max offer sheet it’s time to ponder the “then” of what comes next.

The first implication is that the Suns may have just negotiated Gordon a new contract for the Hornets and given him an extra $8 mil over the four years due to the leverage gained by the threat of leaving.

It’s been widely reported that the Hornets will just match, which would mean the Suns wasted their time rolling out the orange carpet, creating a cardboard cutout of Gordon in a “10″ Suns jersey as well as a video welcoming “cornerstone” Eric Gordon and most importantly dealing with all their cap holds to clear the requisite space (which, of course, has not been done yet).

The Suns will have roughly $33 million committed to eight players once Kendall Marshall is signed, but thanks to large cap holds for Steve Nash and Grant Hill not to mention holds for guys like Robin Lopez, Shannon Brown and Aaron Brooks, the Suns will need to either resolve some of those situations or renounce their rights before formally making this official with Gordon on July 11.

Obviously, this is no big deal at all if you’re going to land the widely-accliamed second-best free agent on the market, but it’s not something you want to do to take a shot in the dark at signing a guy likely to be matched anyway.

I fully expected Gordon to take somebody’s money — be it the Suns, Pacers, Rockets or whomever else — and then force the Hornets to match. That’s what you do if you are a restricted free agent who can command a max contract on the open market but not from your team.

However, I did not expect Gordon to release a statement saying the Suns made an “incredible” impression and that he “strongly feel[s] they are the right franchise for me. Phoenix is just where my heart is now.”

Phoenix is where Eric Gordon’s heart is? Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

Clearly, the Suns were doing this for more than the positive PR as some on this board have suggested, and it goes without saying that their pitch was effective.

Without being able to interview Gordon at this juncture we can only speculate as to why this Indiana boy would prefer to play for a Suns franchise that so many people seem to think possesses such a dismal future. I’m sure the vaunted training staff factored in heavily as well as the opportunity to be “The Man” and play next to a pass-first point guard such as Kendall Marshall or a certain 38-year-old free agent (we’ll get to how this impacts his decision later).

It seems a bit puzzling he would want to jump ship minutes after the Hornets locked down a franchise cornerstone like Anthony Davis to play for a team with Marcin Gortat as its best current player, but considering this market has always attracted stud free agents perhaps we should not be so surprised.

As for the Hornets, some pundits anointed them as a mini-OKC (which I found preposterous) building around a big three of Davis, Gordon and Austin Rivers. I personally did not feel like Gordon and Rivers would be the best match as franchise cornerstones, and apparently Gordon agrees with me.

However, New Orleans presumably is not about to let Austin Rivers and Al-Farouq Aminu be all they have to show for trading away Chris Paul (at least for you non-conspiracy theorists out there). Eric Gordon was the burgeoning All-Star that made their offer more attractive than what the Lakers ponied up, and losing him for nothing would not seem to be an option for new Hornets owner Tom Benson.

Suns fans may be familiar with such a dilemma as seven years ago nearly the exact scenario played out with Joe Johnson.

Johnson chose to leave an up-and-coming Suns team (much further along than the Stage 1 Hornets coming off a WCF run) to be “The Man” with the Hawks after signing a five-year, $70 million offer sheet from Atlanta. That deal, of course, was for one year longer than Gordon’s but for about the same average annual value.

Just as Gordon is doing through his statement, JJ asked the Suns not to match it and they obliged, instead agreeing to a sign-and-trade deal with the Hawks. Now it’s Phoenix on the other end trying to acquire an elite shooting guard coming off his fourth NBA season, and both times the player seemingly favored money and being “The Man” over winning (I say seemingly since the Hawks became good quick and I think the Suns could as well with EG).

It seems doubtful that New Orleans would not at least threaten to match without a sign-and-trade worked out, so that may be the Suns’ next order of business, and it could be difficult without many assets a young rebuilding team like the Hornets might want (and with no bad contracts from NO that the Suns could absorb).

Gortat needs to be out of the question to me. If the Suns offer up Gortat, why should Gordon even want to come here? This is not a situation where the talent necessarily should be equal, just as it would not be in a Nash sign-and-trade. However, the Suns need to give the Hornets something and I would start with their 7-foot restricted free agent (Aaron Brooks cannot be traded since he was not on their roster last season, and presumably the Suns will rescind his qualifying offer to free up cap space any day now).

Perhaps Hornets GM Dell Demps feels Robin Lopez would be a nice fit next to Anthony Davis as New Orleans could use a center. Since the Hornets reportedly were interested in Kendall Marshall he could be in play, particularly if the Suns are able to land a veteran free-agent point guard, and Markieff Morris is always a possibility as well as picks.

The Suns received a young, unproven player in Diaw along with two protected first-round picks from the Hawks for Johnson, so perhaps that could be a guide for a potential Gordon sign-and-trade.

Or the Suns could hope Gordon applies enough pressure that he does not want to be in New Orleans that they pull this off without yielding any compensation.

Before really speculating on the next moves in free agency, we need to know the answer to the “if-then” question of whether a sign-and-trade is necessary and of course even more importantly if the Hornets will even allow Gordon to flee to Phoenix. That being said, I’m going to speculate nonetheless.

If the Suns acquire Gordon, they will have made a significant “improvement” to their roster, and at that point you know who their next call should be to. Yes, that’s right, a certain two-time MVP of the NBA. You may have heard of him. He hails from Canada.

Gordon is the “go-to player” who can get you 20 a night and score the big buckets in crunch time that the Suns have been griping about needing since Amare left, and nobody has said that more often than Steve Nash. With a Nash-Gordon backcourt, the Suns would vault back to the top of the offensive efficiency chart and become a legitimate playoff team with a future star to build around when Nash retires.

I have always felt that all things being equal, Nash would prefer to return to the Valley due to his relationship with the city/fans, his role on the team (this is his team), the training staff and the presence of his family among other things. If the Suns were to suddenly possess more talent than teams like Dallas and Toronto and also offer up a decent contract, suddenly his departure would not be a foregone conclusion.

Since Gordon will take up so much of the Suns’ available cap space, one of their next moves would presumably be to amnesty Josh Childress, which could open up the cap room to bring back Nash, Hill and Lopez. By trading Sebastian Telfair for another wing, you have a pretty darn good team.

The Suns could go in the opposite direction as well and start fresh by pairing Gordon with Beasley and/or Mayo and try to rejuvenate the roster with young talent.

Keep in mind that is, very early speculation in that not only do we have any idea if the Hornets will match, we have no idea what the Suns might need to offer in a sign-and-trade and whether they would be willing to amnesty Childress to give Gordon some more help.

However, if this all goes down it suddenly would make sense to keep Nash for both parties. No longer would he be retained merely for sentimental reasons, it would be about winning, too, and then the Suns would have his heir apparent ready to take over in two seasons so long as Marshall isn’t surrendered in a sign-and-trade.

There’s nothing so difficult in this league as acquiring young elite talent, and tonight the Suns put themselves in position to add one of the best under-25 shooting guards in the league to their roster.

If the Hornets don’t match, the Suns will be flush with options to improve both in the present and the future, and the rebuilding (reloading?) process will not be so painful with a star to build around.

Nash interested in Lakers?’s David Aldridge tweeted that Nash is in “huge demand around the league, with multiple teams trying to get in hourly, per source.”

One of those such teams is the Suns’ bitter rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. However, much like the New York Knicks, such a deal would require the Suns’ cooperation in a sign-and-trade, and Paul Coro tweeted that it “sounds like there’s no way Sarver would do that for the #Suns rival.”

Aldridge speculated that the Lakers could offer Ramon Sessions, Jordan Hill and Matt Barnes in sign-and-trades (they are all free agents), but it’s hard to see how anything short of Pau Gasol (which the Lakers would not do, presumably) would net them Nash from the Suns, if Phoenix even picks up that phone call. Just one more reason for Kobe to hate this franchise.

Aldridge did have the line of the night in his piece, though, after writing, “The Suns aren’t believed to be interested in World Peace.”

Not the kind the Lakers would be offering, anyway.

Tags: Eric Gordon

  • Tony


    very interesting developments and i like your analysis of the situation. This would be a great boom for the Suns if they can get Gordon and then resign Nash. If that is done, I will be first to give the FO credit for which they would then deserve. Although to be honest, I really don’t think Gordon is a max-worthy player, but obviously the Suns have to sign him even if they overpay him. This is what happens when your team has no legitimate talent outside of Gortat.

    Speaking of Gortat, obviously NO is not going to let Gordon leave without some compensation in return. Gordon can cry and moan all he wants to, but it doesn’t make any sense for them to let Gordon leave for nothing. With that being the case, the only legitimate talent the Suns have that the Hornets might want in return would be Gortat and I’m not so sure overpaying Gordon and giving up Gortat for him is a wise move. So, if not Gortat, who can the Suns give up to entice the Hornets to agree to a S&T?

    Lastly, and correct me if I’m wrong Michael, but if Gordon really didn’t want to play for the Hornets, would it not have been wiser for him to refuse to sign any deal and then play out his final season with the Hornets and become an unrestricted FA? This entire situation seems a bit strange to me as he must know all indications are that they will match the Suns offer. This would then extend his contract with the Hornets for four more years. So, this leads me to wonder if he is just using the Suns as leverage to ensure he gets the Hornets to pay him the max. But as you stated, by publicly expressing his desire to play for the Suns, Gordon was also clearly sending the Hornets FO a message. The next question is, what is the subtext behind his statement…?

  • Scott

    Are we to assume the Lakers are going after Nash in their continuing quest to dump Gasol?

  • Michael Schwartz

    @Tony Haha I hope this happens for no other reason than to see you give the front office credit :). I know I’m not alone in hoping for that!

    Yes, they needed to overpay, as the only way Gordon was signing with anybody was for the max. Superstars only take paycuts if it can help their team sign other superstars. But yes, with the Suns’ talent situation this was their only option, and that’s why I’m OK with overpaying him by say $2 mil a year. It’s better to overpay him by $2 mil than the kind of players they usually overpay by $2 mil a year.

    Right, I agree, giving up Gortat would not be a wise move. I’d like to open that question up to the board because I don’t have a perfect answer for an S and T. Morris or Marshall and a pick? We know they want young talent. I don’t love that for PHX but suppose I would do it if I had no other choice.

    Yes, I thought he would be using whatever team he signed with as leverage (except maybe Indiana since he’s from there). But the statement seems to contradict that. Why release the statement if this is a leverage play? As we learned from Dwight, yes, if he really wanted to leave he should have played out the year but then he risks not getting paid, and for a guy with his injury history, you’ve got to take the big deal when it’s offered to you. Obviously taking the guaranteed $58 mil is more important than definitely fleeing New Orleans. But yeah, the statement really surprised and encouraged me. I don’t know if there is a subtext to it. It sounds like he wants to play for the Phoenix Suns and not the New Orleans Hornets.

  • Nathan

    I like that he’s interested, but I think OJ Mayo and Michael Beasley would be better signings. I’m a little concerned about Gordon’s injury history and how many games he’s missed over the last couple seasons, and I just don’t feel like he’s worth a max contract with with Mayo available for a little over half his price. He’s larger, a better defender, and would probably thrive in our system and with a larger role in our offense.

    Everyone knows the risks that come with Micahel Beasley, but is Eric Gordon at a max contract worth more than OJ Mayo and Beasley? I’m not so sure.

  • Michael Schwartz

    @Scott I could not imagine them offering Gasol in a Nash deal, but if they do I am already envisioning a fake trade with Minnesota whereby the Suns get back Derrick Williams in an expanded three-way deal.

  • shazam

    michael and tony never sleep…there is always some one keeping an eye on the store…thanks for that :)

  • Scott

    I think there was some bad blood between Gordon and some of the folks at NO. They probably got off on the wrong foot with the Clippers trade, and then Gordon got injured and was out for a long, long time.

    Keep in mind that all Gordon knows of the NBA is his few years with the Clippers (by all accounts not a stellar organization), and then a year with the ownerless Hornets. As the Suns would come in and routinely beat the Clips, he probably longed to be with a more professional organization.

    If NO takes him back despite his wishes, it would be a dumb move for them.

    If NO wants a sign-and-trade, it’s not like the Suns have assets to give. IMO, they have Warrick and Childress, and that’s it. That’s $10m right there. NO is welcome to them (not that I hate these players at all, but let’s be realistic – it would speed the rebuild of the team).

    Hopefully someone will make it clear to NO that they can’t get much talent from the Suns in a sign-and-trade, just a couple of veteran players on slightly expensive contracts.

  • Michael Schwartz

    Haha, don’t forget Scott. He’s keeping an eye out as well at these late hours.

  • Michael Schwartz

    The thing is, Scott, NO holds the ultimate trump card in that they can match and the Suns are back to their dreary, star-less future with probably no Nash. So it’s not as simple as throwing crap at them and hoping it sticks. The ideal hope would be that Gordon’s whining turns them off, but I think it’s going to take some assets as well. Completely agree, though, that they can’t just come and raid the Suns’ roster of anything, as people on New Orleans boards seem to expect.

    Good point about the bad blood. He was out for pretty much the whole season with a bruise, so who knows what’s going on there. And on that front, honestly, who knows what our training staff may have told him. It seems clear to me that they would be a huge part of the package for a 23-year-old stud with injury issues.

  • Nathan

    I know I’m sounding overly pessimistic about EG committing here, but this becomes a lot less palatable if we have to give up what few assets we have just for the right to overpay Eric Gordon. PHX should be collecting young talent, not sending it away.

  • Michael Schwartz

    There is always a price where it’s not worth it. Obviously I feel like this is a pretty huge boon to acquire a bonafide star before his prime even if he’s overpaid but he’s not worth giving up Gortat and Morris, for example. Time for Babby and his shrewd negotiating skills to shine!

  • Scott

    @Michael -

    Well, if the whole idea is that the Lakers can’t sign Nash because they need room for his salary, and they can only get the room by trading all their trash to the Suns … well, I’m thinking it’s a plan that won’t work.

    The Suns are in no position to be taking on trash, esp. not if the point is to help their division rivals take their best player.

  • Nathan

    Well, I’m hoping at least that EG’s injuries were exagerrated. I wouldn’t put it past the Hornets to have shut him down so they could tank for a pick, like what Charlotte allegedly did with Stephen Jackson a couple seasons ago. If any franchise knows how to keep its players on the court, it’s this one.

  • Michael Schwartz

    Haha, only a prototypical Lakers fan would disagree with that logic. What if the Lakers could trade Gasol for Nash and another decent player and the Suns get Williams in a three-way. I know we’re a long way from that and there would be lots of specifics to fill in, but I think that could work. Granted, I understand most some fans would rather gauge their eyeballs out than trade Nash to the Lakers, but I’m of the opinion that it’s worth if it improves your team. In other words, Hell no for there flotsam but definitely for a No. 2 pick in teh draft.

  • Scott

    @Michael -

    While it was first announced as a bruise, IIRC Gordon had some loose cartilage that needed to be removed. They couldn’t see it on the x-rays, though.

    Gordon was out for so long because when they couldn’t see anything, the doctors first recommended an extended rest, to see if the knee would heal. When it didn’t, they ordered the surgery, which appeared to fix the situation. According to Gordon, that was his first surgery.

    I think he feels the NO org was pushing him to play through his injury, or accusing him of malingering. He’s probably aware of the sterling reputation of the Suns training staff, and they probably told him “No, we wouldn’t play you if you had pain. In fact, we try to get our guys to stop playing if they have pain.”

    If NO wants to spend max money on a guy who doesn’t want to play for them, that’s their business. They’ve got a new owner now, so maybe they think it won’t be a problem. But I wouldn’t want that on my team. I’d just take the loss and move on.

    Speaking of moving on, I imagine the Suns are trying to land BOTH Gordon and Mayo. With the lack of interest Beasley has had since his rookie year, I wouldn’t worry too much about signing him; I’d try to get the players who are in demand locked down first.

  • Scott

    @Michael -

    If the Lakers want to take some of the Suns’ “trash” plus Steve for Gasol, that would be tempting.

    But if the Suns don’t have Nash, they’re clearly rebuilding, so what’s the point of taking on Gasol? He’s clearly a guy you have only if you’re a contender. So you’d have to try to trade him to a contending team in exchange for young talent. But I can’t think of any contending teams with young talent aside from OKC, and they’re not letting anyone go.

    I can’t see any positives at this point for trading with the Lakers.

  • Michael Schwartz

    @Scott The T-Wolves LOVE Gasol, and I believe I saw a report that they would trade Derrick Williams for him. That would be worth it to me, starting over with a Gordon-Williams-Gortat core to go along with Marshall, Morris and Dudley.

  • Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    Lets get something straight.

    If NOH plays hard and wants to execute a sign and trade, by no means should PHX offer up anybody of importance. Not Marshall, not Gortat, not draft picks.

    Instead, what should (and probably will) happen is what I mentioned before in a post and what Schwartz just brought up again – a multi-team trade.

    In this case, if you throw in the Lakers, you’re looking at four teams.

    End game would be something like…

    Nash > Lakers
    Gasol > Suns > Wolves
    Williams > Suns
    Gordon > Suns
    ????? > Hornets

    probably have to have LAL and MIN offer up something that NoH wants since PHX is the middle man with goods that those two teams would be interested in and the asset to make it all work.

    Perhaps LAL signs Sessions for the trade and MIN signs Beas for the trade and those goods are sent to NOH as Gordon compensation. Something like that.

    But by NO MEANS should PHX give up any of their youth. Not Morris not Marshall; not Gortat

  • Majestic One

    Gordon needs to fire his agent if he signed an offer with the Suns. Put pressure on NO to trade him to the Suns by not agreeing to anything. He is as dumb as a brick if he signed anything.

  • Majestic One

    “The thing is, Scott, NO holds the ultimate trump card”

    They only do if EG is stupid enough to sign an offer they can match. Otherwise he holds the aces.

  • Ty-Sun

    Well, to me it was curious that NO took Rivers with their #10 pick in the draft since he and Gordon both play SG and they had other needs to fill (such as a PG). Perhaps the new ownership isn’t that high on Gordon? Maybe a potential sign and trade was what they were hoping for. This way they get rid of a disgruntled player who doesn’t want to be there and get some assets in return as well. With Rivers on board, they have a potential replacement for Gordon already on the team and could gain some pieces in a S&T to plug some other voids in their roster.

  • D.P.

    Couldn’t we just offer a player and money?

  • Bill_Thomas

    Gortat leaving to get Gordon is a non-starter, period, and I for one will flat-out drop this franchise if that is what this FO does.

  • Philippe

    Another option that NO can go with that is not bring considered here is to match and then trade him to any other team that can put together a better package then the Suns. Once they match he cannot go to the Suns in any way(RFA rules), but he also doesn’t have a choice about where NO sends him. So if he convinces NO that he is going to sulk and another team is confidant he will eventually be happy (4 years is a long time to not play your best) then the sky is the limit for trade options.

  • Scott

    Trading Nash for Beasley 2.0 (Derrick Williams) would not be my plan.

    I’d rather keep Nash or find another deal.

    As for signing Beasley 1.0 … is he supposed to replace Warrick, who is still on the team?

    Beasley is another tweener … he gets pushed around by PFs and he can’t keep up with SFs. He’s not a defensive stopper, so he’s clearly not replacing Hill. And if he’s there to do his work in the paint and get fouls, well, his FT% last year was 65%. And while he was a good rebounder in college, due to his “tweenness” in the NBA, he rebounds poorly. His PER is the same as Warrick.

    It seems the whole idea with Beasley is that he’d spread the floor with his 35% career 3 pt shooting. That, and the Suns are hugely disappointed in Warrick, for whatever reason. (It could be another case of poor coaching, IMO.)

    If the Suns are looking for inadequate defense and so on, but good 3 pt shooting, why don’t they pick up John Shurna? He’s an undrafted rookie SF, 6′ 10″, high motor, high b-ball IQ, and he shoots 44% from 3. He sounds like a legitimate sharpshooter.

    And he’d be CHEAP on a multi-year contract with team option.

  • Jason A.


    Beasley is a bit undersized but if you look at his numbers with the Heat, he was more effective playing the 4 than he was in Min playing the 3. Having said that, Icoin see a strong rotation at the 3-4 spot with a combination of Dudley, Beasley, and Morris all playing 25+ minutes a night. You could easily have a stretch where you play all three to give your starting SG a rest.

  • Jason A.


    As always, your analysis is thorough and spot on. I don’t understand those who would sacrifice Gortat for Gordon and I don’t understand the flip side where Marshall is suddenly untouchable and vital to our future. Marshall is important but he’s expendable.

    What I’d really like to know is what this means for our pursuit of a Plan B SG. Do we have a Plan B? It’s either going to be Gordon matched or a S&T, I don’t see him just coming to us. If the FO does deem Marshall untouchable we’re screwed. Enter Mayo. Could we now call him up and offer him a promise of an above market contract in the event Nola matches?

  • sun also rises

    lolol. I had to click on this one just to see what sort of weird response Tony would have to it. Especially since Gordon named names in saying that the FO was the reason why he wanted to come here.

    And of course he puts up some vague BS that passively aggressively insults the team while refusing to comment on his usual pathetic arguments. I cant wait to see the next time he tries to go for the “waaah Sarver’s so cheap he runs everybody out of town and won’t pay for talent to come here” crap and everybody rubs his face in this. It reminds me of a scene from that show ‘Arrested Development’ where a character has a delusional obsession with being an actor and every time somebody calls him out on it he just goes into hilarious denial.

  • Die Hard Suns Fan

    N.O. Matches for sure , we do the sign and trade. we give up Morris and Lopez and a some cash. We sign trade Nash for Gasol and derrick williams and then we sign Goran The Dragon and O.J. Mayo and we also Amnesty Childress. I love Nash and want Nash to Stay , but i Dont think Nash wants to be here anymore !!!
    IM OUT !!!

  • Suns4L1fe

    On a side note, ever since it was announced that EG is looking to join the Suns, has anyone else noticed how much hate the Suns are getting? ALL the New Orleans fans are saying “Why would he want to go to the Suns? No potential there.” I for one, have gotten really frustrated with this. They’ve become so conceited and suddenly find themselves to be better than us because what? Because they got two good players out of the draft? I still say they are a bad team until they legitimately prove to us that they are better than our Suns team.

  • Edward

    Gordon is going get the suns in playoff

  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    In a Coro blog this morning, Coro states that Gordon has always wanted to play in Phoenix.

    I would not trade Gortat (please folks remember it took the Suns more than 40 years to finally get a center, and a good one at that).

    Marshall? Last Sunday the Suns took out a full page add in the Republic on him-and his future with the Suns. All the hype about his leadership etc. fitting in with the “new Suns.” They won’t include him in a deal.

    I like Gordon (although it probably won’t happen), Beasley and you mention possibly even getting Mayo to boot.

    I also would be hesitant to include Morris in a sign and trade. Haven’t the Suns stated that the best way to build a team is through the draft? Morris looks like a good one (perhaps another Sheed), and he is a draft pick.

  • bk

    If Gordon does come, Suns cap space should be 23M – 14.5M = 8.5M. That should not be enough for signing Beasley/Mayo or Dragic.

  • Die Hard Suns Fan

    @bk they will probably back end more of the deal and also they can amnesty childress giving them another 7 mil and also give up aaron brooks another 5 mil there holding , 8.5 plus 12 puts them back to 20.5 plus they back load his contract a few mil so they will prob be back at 23.5 million after all this and having gordon so then we got room to get the Goran Dragic and Beasley. and there is talks about suns getting iman shumpert and money and pics for nash so we wont need mayo , have you seen shumpert play WOW WOW WOW WOW

  • Ty-Sun

    Amnesty Childress and you can add another $6 mil to the Suns’ cap space if it’s needed.

  • Die Hard Suns Fan




  • Lloyd I. Cadle

    Die Hard Suns Fan –

    Beasley is a big man that plays the 3. You would want Morris starting at the 4, and Dudley coming off of the bench.

    A potential front line of 5 Gortat, 4 Morris and 3 Beasley would be young and pretty good.

  • Tony

    @Sun Also Loser,

    how was my comment passively aggressive?? If the Suns are able to not just sign Gordon, but actually do get him, and if they resign Nash or Dragic, I will give them credit.

    WIth that being said, you do realize that as of now, there is no indication the Hornets won’t match. Furthermore, Benson and Demps know how to play hardball, so it’s not likely they will allow Gordon to dictate terms to them. Furthermore, by signing Gordon to a max deal at this point, the Suns FO is tying up most of their money for a player they may not actually acquire. Of course, that’s dependent on the Hornets matching. But I’m sure the Hornets will wait until the 14th, the last day they have to decided what to do with Gordon, to match it. If that happens, the Suns FO may lose out on the rest of the decent FAs left. Now if they amnesty Childress, then they will free up some space, but reagrdless, the FO is taking a very big risk that they could end up with nothing.

    So Sun Loser, instead of your childish remarks, why don’t you try to think rationally and ask yourself, why would the Hornets simply allow their best player to leave for nothing? At the very worst for them, they will want to do a S&T and the Suns don’t have much to offer other than Gortat and possibly Marshall.

  • Andy

    I think the optimistic interpretation of this, Tony, is that the Suns front office is counting on exactly that. The fact is, this is not an overnight rebuilding project. But selling the fans on starting a long, slow rebuild while teams load up on free agents around you is really rough. This way, the Suns can have this offer out tying up their cap space while guys like Ilyasova and Dragic get signed. Then, when New Orleans matches the offer (and they almost certainly will), the Suns can act shocked that they have been “left out” of the free agent game.

    They can lament that fact, have a very rough year and get a good draft pick, and sell fans on the idea that if EG was willing to sign his offer sheet, maybe we’ll sign a superstar next summer. And do it all without the insane pressure from fans to tie up long term cap space in an attempt to stay “competitive”. (For the 8th spot in the West.) In that way, I don’t think that being the team to get Gordon his max, even if we’re almost certain New Orleans will match it, is necessarily a bad thing.

  • Tony


    very well stated, I couldn’t agree more with you. In fact, personally, I don’t think that highly of Gordon anyway nor do I think he’s worthy of a max-contract. In just the past 3 seasons, as a result of injuries, he’s missed 20 games, followed by 26 games the next season, and then last season he only played in 9 games. He’s a career 45% shooter, hardly efficient, and he’s undersized for the sg position. So, I will not be at all upset when the Hornets do match.

  • JD

    I agree with Andy. Offering Gordon the max is perfect for both teams. When NO matches, the other high-priced free agents will probably be gone, so the Suns will be “forced” to save their cap space for next season. Most fans will be happy enough the Suns FO took a shot at it but in the end, Sarver saves $15M.

    For NO, they can absorb a max contract very easily. They have plenty of cap space and Davis and Rivers won’t be up for contract extensions until Gordon’s max contract ends. If NO ends up back in the lottery for 1 or 2 more seasons, they can continue to fortify their roster on the rookie scale. When Gordon comes off their books they will be in a good position to keep their core together while Gordon goes off somewhere else as a UFA.

    I see NO matching, no S&T happening, and Sarver saving a ton of money.

  • tb

    if they do a S&T it would be Lopez and Telfair. pick up Beasley or mayo

  • tb

    S&T it would be Lopez and Telfair. pick up Beasley or mayo

  • bk

    I would love NO to match it, so the key FA competitors for bargain deal left will be Houston only.

  • Tony


    glad to see that some semblance of rational analysis still exists on VOTS. I would also add that Benson is no rookie owner and coming from the NFL, in which the owners have tremendous power, to believe he’s going to let a Eric Gordon, a nobody, get the best of him is naieve thinking. Sure, it’s possible they do a S&T with the Suns, but they are not going to accept players like Lopez, Warrick, or Childress for their prized FA. More probable would be them demanding Gortat, or Marshall, in addition to future 1st round picks.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe that by coming out publicly in favor of the Suns organization at the expense of the Hornets, the greater chance Gordon will not get what he desires. I know it is a little counterintuitive, but if Benson allows Gordon to dictate where he will play next season, then Benson will be perceived as looking weak. It might have been more prudent of Gordon to quietly go about signing a max-deal with the Suns and quietly telling Benson that he would much prefer to play for the Suns. Of course this is all based on the assumption that Gordon really wants to play for the Suns and is not using them as leverage with the Hornets to secure a max-deal.

  • Justin

    I would think NO matches the offer and then does a sign and trade with Phoenix. I see no reason why a team would keep a disgruntled player when they clearly do not want to be there. Dwight Howard’s situation this past season is a great example. He did not want to be in ORL so why even try. He looked extremely unmotivated throughout the season. I am sure NO does not want to go through that same situation. My hunch is that Eric Gordon never wanted to go to NO in the first place but it just so happened he got traded there as part of the Chris Paul deal and had to face the fact that he was there for only one season and then he could potentially leave as a free agent. NO being stubborn, matching the offer but holding onto him without trading him would create a toxic environment within the organization and most likely into the NO locker room. Either NO lets him walk or match the offer and do a sign and trade with Phoenix simple as that. Stubbornly holding onto Eric Gordon is a very bad idea. It would be like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. If NO does a sign and trade with Phoenix then I would think it would be something like Eric Gordon for a first and second round and Robin Lopez. Phoenix will not give up Gortat. Another deal is EG for PHO’s first rounder, Kendall Marshall and Robin Lopez.