Bucher: Hornets to match Eric Gordon deal, no sign-and-trade

ESPN’s Ric Bucher tweeted this evening that the New Orleans Hornets plan to match the four-year, $58 million offer sheet the Phoenix Suns agreed to extend to restricted free agent shooting guard Eric Gordon.

However, nothing is official until 9:01 p.m. MST tonight when the league’s moratorium ends so it’s not quite time to give up on the dream of Gordon in a Suns uniform just yet.

Since Suns cannot sign Gordon to the offer sheet until then, it’s certainly possible that Bucher’s source is trying to provide New Orleans with one last ounce of leverage before the craziness breaks loose tonight.

After all, if the Hornets planned on matching they would want this out there because it would be true, and if they did not plan on matching they would want this out there for sign-and-trade leverage.

As all of you who have been following this saga must know by now, once Gordon signs that offer sheet a sign-and-trade is no longer possible and surely at that point the Hornets will match rather than lose him for nothing.

Lon Babby often talked about the importance of showing players that the Suns are a class organization during the Nash trade talk at the trade deadline, but in theory if the Suns knew for sure that New Orleans will match they would be wise to rescind the offer.

After all, just to create enough cap space to extend the offer, the Suns will have to renounce the rights to all their unrestricted free agents as well as restricted free agent Robin Lopez plus find a way to create another approximately $2 million of cap space.

They could accomplish that by amnestying a player or perhaps by holding off on signing Dragic and Beasley until this Gordon saga has concluded, which would be wise since there’s no reason to burn a player for an offer sheet that likely won’t lead anywhere. If the offer is extended and matched, the Suns could rescind the renouncement and still own Lopez’s rights.

At that point they would have about just over $11 million to re-sign Lopez (or a replacement big) and a shooting guard. I would recommend doing a Lopez deal if it can be accomplished on reasonable terms and signing a shooting guard for one year so that the Suns could possess max contract cap room next season with Warrick off the books and a potential Childress amnesty.

On that shooting guard front, O.J. Mayo is reportedly close to signing with Indiana and Lou Williams agreed to terms with the Hawks so that well is starting to dry up as the Suns wait on the Gordon proceedings to be finalized.

Before the feeding frenzy official begins, the league announced that the salary cap will once again hold steady at $58.044 million and the luxury tax will remain at $70.307 mil. The room mid-level that the Suns will have access to after spending all their cap room came in at $2.575 as expected.

Pretty soon we will know whether the Suns have a shiny new star shooting guard to spend that cap room on, but if Bucher’s source is correct they better have spent this week working on a Plan B.

Tags: Eric Gordon

  • thatdude

    So dont sign the offer and personally call the owner if ur Gordon to say trade me but thats a lot of leverage for the Hornets.

  • Scott

    Eh, if we can move on from Nash, we can surely move on from Gordon.

    What’s next?

  • Manny

    I’m actually happy. I for one didn’t really want to see Marshall go. I think he and Dragic can be something special for us. Sign Mayo or Bayless, keep our picks and try to lure another star next season.

  • JZ

    Time to go after O.J Mayo. He’ll cost less for 3 years. Btw…is it just me or are the Phoenix veterans looking to have a reunion by joining the Lakers? Was this planned 4-5 years in advance like Lebron-Wade-Bosh? Hill is considering the Lakers, as is Raja Bell. Now it looks like Richardson might join LA along with Dwight. That is 4 former Suns becoming members of a main rival. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lakers choose to trade Pau Gasol for STAT.

  • bk

    I would sign Brook Lopez a deal. Making the Net to have it at higher price too :P

  • Tony

    Not that I’m upset at this news, since I don’t consider Gordon worthy of a max-deal, but in essence the Suns FO managed to lose Nash and Hill for Dragic, Beasley, and 4 late round picks. Hmm……,not sounding like the FO has had a successful off-season thus far to me. What now do the Sarver-supporters have to say about this? Please don’t bring up saving cap space to sign Harden next season because that’s just not going to happen.

  • Nick

    still no word?

  • Jason A.

    @Tony it’s funny, I look at Dragic, Beasley, and four picks for Nash and Hill as a huge win. No?

  • Nik

    im tryin to help you silly kids out… Marc Stein: If Hornets match PHX offer sheet to Eric Gordon, as they’ve vowed, desert sources say this is definite: OJ Mayo will be courted hard by Suns 2 minutes ago

  • Tony


    I’m not surprised you think four late draft picks, Dragic and Beasley are worth Nash and Hill….You do realize Beasley wasn’t even in the Timberwolves rotation last season and that Dragic has yet to play an entire season as a starter, right? But again, you Sarver-lovers are so easy to appease.

  • @Tony

    well beasley was the t-wolves starting pf/sf and dragic wasnt a starter because he was behind and nash and lowry yet lowry lost the starting position to dragic the last month and a half.. plus 4 draft picks for nash who was going to leave us anyways so thats a win..

  • Jason A.

    @Tony seriously? Beasley is supremely talented. Maybe he puts it all together here, maybe he doesn’t. But his contract is a good risk.

    As for Dragic, I will admit I’m a bit surprised he was as coveted as he was. Maybe he’ll suck, I don’t know. If he does it wasn’t a good signing. But there’s a very good chance that with financial security, a starting spot, and the knowledge he had nothing to do with Nash leaving, Dragic will be as good as he was as a starter in Houston. Another good risk for the FO.

  • Majestic One

    Suns should withdraw their offer and Gordon sign his qualifying offer. Then he can force a trade. So much simpler.

  • joe

    really is Eric Gordon a max player is he really that much better than leandro barbosa was?

    He’s Talent but it may be best for the suns to let the Hornets keep Gordon and get Mayo or Harden or hope the comiss puts the fix in for us next year so we can get Shabazz Muhammad we did lose Nash

  • Bill_Thomas

    AS I understand it Gordon should have already signed his offer sheet tonight and a sign and trade is therefore not permitted. I guess NOLA gets 3(?) days to match, having had 5-7 days to do an S&T and having gotten nothing (I guess the Ryan Anderson thing absorbed 100% of grey matter and energy). If so are they trying to screw us if they do not match right away or are they just having to get salaries off their balance sheet to do something in a few days? If they are just toying with this while we wait and can’t execute any other moves until they act, this will be a blood feud way worse than our feuds with the Lakers, Spurs and Celtics.

  • Scott

    I’d like to get someone cheaper than Gordon as well.

    Mayo would be an option. If the Suns don’t get him, again, I won’t be worried. Sometimes when you miss out on a player you’re actually dodging a bullet.

    Bayless, if he isn’t still dismissive of the Suns, could be another possibility.

    Go with rookies if no one else is available.

    But the last thing I want to see is panic signing, where the Suns pick up players who don’t fit the mold and overpay them.

  • Scott

    @JZ -

    I’m not surprised by this at all. These guys want to play with Steve, and they don’t mind being on a winning team.

    If Marion could get Cuban to accept a trade for Metta, he’d be in LA too.

  • Bill_Thomas

    I think Bayless, Courtney Lee, Mayo or a re-upping of Shannon Brwon and/or Michael Redd may
    well be more cost-effective than Gordon, but we should welcome Gordon enthusiastically if we get him after all this.

    Bayless is an interesting player, seemed to be a little shitty toward Phoenix in the playoff series while with Portland a few years ago, but maybe that was just natural competitiveness coming out–a good thing. Lot of good potentials can get lost in a place like Toronto.

  • Bill_Thomas

    Maybe Marion can get Mark to trade him to LA for Metta if Shawn throws in a box of Cubans !!!!!!!!!

  • Bill_Thomas

    I am beginning to wonder if Tony would prefer to have year-old fruitcake as opposed to an unproven young player.

  • joe

    lets hope PHX doesn’t Panic and offer Mayo huge money anything more than Dragic got would be over paying

    3 years 27 mil

    thats over paying but on a 3 year deal I could live with that

  • Bill_Thomas

    @Joe that is spot-on pricing for Mayo, Chief !!!!!!!!!

  • Scott

    Oh, nevermind on Bayless. He just signed with the Grizzlies as a replacement for Mayo.

    If the Suns do go with Redd and Brown again, I hope it is nothing more than 2 yr contracts with team option for the 2nd year.

    And I hope this time around Gentry doesn’t play the two guys together. He’s got to pair each of them with an offensively-efficient defensive guy, like Dudley or Childress.

  • Jacob

    Looks like we’re going to tank and draft Shabazz Muhammad next offseason!!!

  • bk

    Max deal on Brook Lopez. So, Nets is around $65M on 4 players (Williams, Johnson, Lopez, Wallace).

  • Scott

    Convinced the Pacers are going to match on Hibbert, the Blazers are dropping their offer, so their cap space won’t be tied up for days.

  • Anjoe

    I hate to say it but this off-season is looking like another one that will set the team back again. Building a team through free agency is just an absolute cap killer. I like the acquisitions of Beasley and Dragic at their price but they are ROLE-PLAYERS. They will help keep us in the middle of the pack and therefore we just keep repeating this cycle every couple of years. I’m okay with the FO decision to let Nash go as we are nowhere near title-contending but if we are going to rebuild then we need to be truly committed to doing that.

  • Anjoe

    and that starts with keeping as much cap space free as much as possible. As far as rebuilding, we have accumulated some drafts picks which I wouldn’t mind eventually trying to package into deals that would bring back a lottery pick. Our team is definitely shaping up into a lottery team, which at this point is not a bad situation. This time next summer we could potentially look at a roster featuring 2 high lottery draft picks and cap room to go after top free agents next year

  • https://twitter.com/True_Rys Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    If the Gordon signing falls through and the suns decide not to chase Mayo or anybody else, cap wise we’re fine going into next off-season.

    Warrick will come off the books as will any 1-year contract we sign this year, and will still have Chilly’s amnesty available.

    Stop hating on the draft picks. Really, if we hold onto all of them, come draft time it’ll be a lot easier to swing a 2 for 1 and move far up into the lottery.

    Can also re-visit trades at the deadline mid-year with those picks.

    @ Tony – sorry dude, but the Suns didn’t “lose” Nash. It was clear that they were done with him early on. Instead of seeing him walk into the sunset for nothing, the Suns got assets that can be used down the line.

    And really, you can’t be throwing Grant Hill in there as somebody of value can you? At this stage in his career he wasn’t going to help the Suns more than Beasley will. That’s a good non-move as well.

    What people have to understand is that the plan was never to turn it around in 1 off-season which is what a lot of fans seem to expect.

    The foundation this off-season has been solid. We’ve got two point guards, one about to hit his stride (Dragic) and another with tons of promise in an enviornment to grow (Marshall as long as he isn’t traded).

    Gortat got retained, for once we’ve acquired draft picks instead of selling them, and signed Beasley on a pretty sweet deal especially if he blossoms under Gentry.

    If no Gordon, still have plenty of cap space going into the season and beyond.

    I have to say, the FO cleaned up a lot of their mess. Can’t really fault them right now.

  • Greg

    @ Joe Did you really compare barbosa to Eric Gordon? Barbosa doesn’t pass he is a turnover waiting to happen and he can’t defend the 2 or play the 1. Actually, he is one of the worst defenders in the league. Eric Gordon can adequately defend 2s and he can control the ball as a 1 for stretches. Gordon is much stronger, and gets to the rim at will, and dunks with power. Unlike Barbosa, who as fast as he was, drove left every time. Gordon shot 6 or 7 free throws a night, Barbosa 1 or 2. I agree, for a few years you could slightly compare them statistically on an espn stat sheet, but dig deeper and its not even close. @Anjoe….considering there is one draft per season, its hard for the Suns to rebuild through the draft in one season. Would you prefer no Dragic, no Beasley, and likley no Nash this next season? How does 11-71 sound? Dragic averaged 18 and 8 over last two months….even if he drops down to 15-6 or 15-7, that is well into the upper half of PG’s in the league, making him much much more then a role player. I think he will be better then that though. As for Beasley, right system, right attitude, the guy will score 20 a game like he did two years ago. Does that sound like a role player? Lol you said keep as much free cap space as possible? Why? isnt the point of cap space to sign free agents and extensions? There is a cap floor teams cant dip below or they are punished financially, so that route makes no sense at all. The chances of drafting studs in the draft, unless you are a top 5 pick, are literally 10% or less. If they did it by draft alone they may not find a franchise player for 15 years. Actually I lied, with your strategy they would be in the top 5 of the lottery for the next decade, so they might get lucky. You have to sign free agents.

  • Greg

    Personally, after watching Gorans 26 pt playoff games against the Spurs, and the skills he presented that game, I had Dragic pegged as an all-star one day, thats how impressive he was. After last years showing, he reconfirmed that talent and ability. At 26, he had a longer learning curve due to the adjustment from europe to the NBA. He is in his prime physically and he has now figured it out. Goran will be a star, I am convinced. Once he has another piece or two to work with and he will have several all-star games on his resume.

  • Scott

    @Greg -

    Goran will also look better because he’ll be playing with the best players on the Suns, instead of the unmatched leftovers Gentry was giving him in his last year.

  • https://twitter.com/True_Rys Rich Anthony, (KJL)

    @ Scott that wasn’t even the problem.

    If Gentry would have allowed Goran to remain in control of the second unit I doubt he ever gets traded. Instead he tried to “Hedo” the second unit.. Oh, so much blood.

    Anyway, yeah. Dragon will have a great year. I have no doubts about it.

  • Greg

    I completely agree, Goran and Gortat in pick and roll or Beasley pick pop will be deadly. Not Nash deadly, but very effective once the chemistry is there. It would have been nice with Goran driving left and Gordon driving right. Would have gave the Suns best penetrating backcourt in basketball. Mayo coming into the picture, him and Gordon share an agent so there may have been talks all along to wait on the Suns-Gordon situation. Goran Mayo and Beasley have the potential to score a ton of points. Mayo isnt the penetrator Gordon is, but he is a scorer and with a starting role he will approach closer to his 18 a game then his 12 a game he produced last year. In Memphis he was with second unit, and many times the primary ball handler with that unit, the main reason his shooting percentages have plummeted. Playing off Goran would help him a lot.

  • Ty-Sun

    I did a little math and Mayo would still have scored at an 18 ppg clip IF Memphis had given him the same minutes on the court that they did in his 1st 2 years. In his 3rd and 4th years his court time was cut by almost a third. Same goes for rebounds and assists. At a reasonable price I can’t see the Suns going wrong on a 2 guard that can get 18 pts, 3.75 rebounds and over 3 assists per game when he plays around 38 minutes a night.

  • Anjoe

    Honestly I could very well see this squad with one of the worst records in the league this year. But that’s okay because this years free agent class is pretty weak overall. A down year will land us a valuable asset. I do like the addition of Dragic and Beasley. But if you look at our roster, these players are the definition of role-players. Our 3 best players would be Dragic, Beasley, and Gortat. On a title-contending team these guys would be the 3rd-4th option at best.

    All I’m saying is I’ve seen the Suns take this route to mediocrity one too many times. Every summer or every other summer we go out and sign a couple of the middle-tier FA and stand pat. I’m not content watching us flame out in the 1st round every year and pick in the teens in the draft.

  • Greg

    If they don’t add Gordon or Mayo, yes they will not be a playoff team, but I would not say one of the worst records in the league. Nash and Hill out, Goran Beasley Marshall in, and an improved Morris (he didn’t have training camp or summer league last year due to lockout). Once they get past the forming stages and get some chemistry they won’t be good, but they won’t be that bad. they were borderline playoff team last year, and they didnt have a go to scorer like beasley or dragic either. Gortat is most underrated center in league, outside of Howard, Bynum, Cousins, and a healthy Bogut, there arent too many names you can put ahead of Gortat. Just came off his first full year starting and has the normal off season to improve also. Now quite frankly I think you need to re-evaluate your definition of “Role-Players”. I consider a role player to be a guy that comes off the bench that offers a specific skill: shooting, rebounding, defense, etc. There are role players in starting lineups, but Goran is anything but a role player and Beasley will likley score up near 20 a game on this team… I never said the team is a title contender with these guys, but to say they are the 3-4 option on a title contender? I agree, lets look at some 3-4 options on title teams : Bosh, Harden, Gasol or Bynum, Ginobli…catch my drift? Its difficult for any 23 year old, Beasley, to be a main option on a title team because his name is Durant or Westbrook. Goran has not hit his ceiling yet, but he will, and he will not be a 3-4 option. I agree with some of your statements, but i disagree with a lot too. Yes, Suns have taken mediocrity in past, but Goran/ Beasley are not Warrick/Childress in any way shape or form (in reference to throwing money at guys in FA) you cant even call childress and warrick mediocre, they suck…and they have missed playoffs last two years only…They had great teams for last half of the decade, couple of those teams should have won titles (Spurs conspiracy and Ron Artest box out away from finals) so they dont do it every summer or every other summer…The Suns didnt/dont have many other options then getting the best guys they can afford, and I feel they did a really nice job landing two quality players that have superior talent. The draft is much much weaker then this years, so unless they get a top 5 or so pick, grabbing a valuable asset is questionable. There aren’t many elite teams in the NBA, the rich are rich and the poor are poorer. You should settle for the playoffs each year, because Suns aren’t the market to attract superstars , and superstars=titles. sorry for the novel.

  • steve

    I know it’s not all that popular to say in PHX, but Hill being out will be more likely to IMPROVE the Suns than make them worse. Hill was by far the worst of all the starters last year when looking at traditional and advanced metrics. The only other starter who came somewhat close to being as bad was Frye, and even Frye was statistically better by a fairly wide margin.

    Losing Hill is not a bad thing. Keeping Grant Hill off the floor will make the Suns better. I love the guy, one of my all time favorites, but he just doesn’t have it any more.

  • Ty-Sun

    Yeah, my definition of a role player is much like Greg’s with the exception that they don’t necessarily have to come off the bench. A few – but not many – role players are so good at what they do that they can start. But actually the best of those usually fit two roles… like DeShawn Stevenson when he was with the Mavericks. He played tough defense AND was a reliable 3 point shooter.

    Dragic certainly doesn’t deserve to be called a roll player. He will never be Steve Nash but I like what someone else said about him in another post here… he could eventually become another KJ.

    Beasley isn’t really a role player either because he’s just been inconsistent in the NBA rather than one-dimensional. As I’ve said before, one night he may play like an all-star and the next night he may play like a D-league reject. He may never get his act together but if he ever does… oh man what a player he COULD be!

    And I don’t understand why so many people are upset at Gortat for NOT being Dwight Howard. If we had traded for Howard and he put up Gortat’s numbers THEN I would be upset. He’s not an alpha dog franchise player but he was never expected to be. There are a lot of NBA teams that would love to have a center that gave them 15 points and 10 rebounds a game. He’s not the best starting center in the NBA but he’s FAR from the worst.

    And one reason I actually prefer Mayo to Gordon is that Mayo has only missed 11 games in his 4 years in the NBA. Gordon has missed 107 games in his 4 years in the NBA and his career stats (18.2 pts, 3.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds) aren’t that much better than Mayo’s.

  • http://ballcruncher.com Ball Cruncher


    Will you provide the link source to the advanced metrics, including defense, you are referencing in your determination of Hill?

  • Greg

    The 11 games Mayo missed were also due to a 10 game suspension for positive drug test for a mild steroid precursor. 1 game in 4 years is remarkable. I agree with the Mayo Gordon Statistical comparison Ty-Sun, but Mayo is more of a mid range shoot off the pick type guy, while Gordon attacks the paint viciously and gets to the line. Some people don’t think it matters how you score, but when you get to the line and score inside, its a much more effective way to slow teams down and stop runs. But, that said, I do like Mayo and think he would really help the Suns and hed benefit from change of scenery/role. Goran Mayo Beasley trio would have the most “potential” in the league. They would score alot of points, defense would be suspect at best though. If Suns can grab Mayo for 3/21 or 3/24 sign him up, but don’t get in a bidding war and sign a guy to a contract you cant move later (childress). If price is too high, bring Brown back and Redd off the bench, but thats not the winning option obviously.

    @steve, i think 82games.com you can find all of that stuff

  • Ty-Sun

    Yeah, Mayo and Gordon definitely differ on how they score but do we want someone who’s shown he’ll be on the court 24/7 or a 9-to-5, Monday to Friday (at best) player? And Mayo has always been at best the 3rd option in Memphis and usually the 4th when Gay, Gasol and Randolph were all healthy. What will he do if he’s the 1st or at least the second scoring option with Phoenix?He might fold up like a cheap lawn chair or he might blossom into a scoring machine. Worth the risk at a 7-8 mil a year contract for 3 years I think.

  • Ty-Sun

    There are rumors that the Bulls are interested in Redd. If that is true then I don’t expect Redd back in the Valley next season.

  • Greg

    7-8 mil is dead on, and what I like about the Mayo Beasley scoring tandem is that whoever is hott will get theirs. If Beasley is hot, he will get his 25, if Mayo has the hot hand, he will get his 25. Goran won’t feel the pressure of being the scorer, even though that may be his best ability. If Mayo approached anywhere around his rookie/sophomore season production he would be a steal a 7-8 mil a year. One thing on Gordon’s knees/overall health, the Suns training staff is best in the business. Look at Grant Hill, guy had some of the worst injuries an NBA player can have, he didnt have a full season for 9 years and after year with Suns he then went on to play 3 full seasons at 36-38, so I wouldnt be too nervous about Gordon, he is young, heals better then Grant im sure

  • steve

    Grant Hill by a few advanced metrics (btw, check out 82games, basketball-reference, etc, in the future)

    PER – 12.3 (league average 15.0)
    WS48 – 0.055 (league average 0.100)
    ORtg – 100
    DRtg – 107 (should do a bit to dispell the idea that he was a great defensive stopper)
    WS – 1.6

    He was also at or very near career lows in TS%, eFG%, ORB%, DRB%, AST%, STL%, BLK%, and USG%.

    Now for Frye’s numbers in the same categories (again, every other member of the starting lineup was demonstrably better than Hill, so it’s not even worth comparing them).

    PER – 14.9
    WS48 – 0.106
    ORtg – 106
    DRtg – 104
    WS – 3.7

    Channing produced over twice as many wins as Hill. And this is coming from a guy who think Channing Frye is a pretty poor player.

    Anyone who actually looks at Hill’s numbers for the past two seasons will see he’s simply not worth having on the court any more. In 2010-11 it was arguable that he still belonged on the court. In 2011-12, he shouldn’t have had a starting job, and there’s just no way around that fact.

  • Ty-Sun

    And going back to what steve said, loosing Hill isn’t really a bad thing. His contribution last year was mostly on the defensive side. I love the guy too but trying to keep him in Phoenix just doesn’t make sense at this point in his career or help the Suns move toward the future.

    I like the idea of a Dragic, Mayo or Gordon, Beasley, Morris or Frye and Gortat starting 5 next year. Even without signing any other players that give us a bench of Marshall, Dudley, Childress/Warrick, Frye/Morris and Lopez. Not a “sure thing” to contend in the West but a dark horse contender for sure at the beginning of the season.

    There’s no way of knowing in advance how this new mix will gel. And there’s still more FA signings that could be made before the season starts and either Childress or Warrick could be amnestied to sign another FA which could change things up even more.

    Overall, I like the direction that the Suns are moving. If this season proves me wrong, so be it. I just agree with the moves they have made so far… I haven’t MADE any of them.

    Lol, actually I would LOVE being in the position where all of you guys could rip me for making bad decisions for the player movement of the Suns… or congratulate me for making good moves. But I’m just another fan with his opinions which really doesn’t count for much.